Stage 1 fire restrictions, enacted for unincorporated areas of western Boulder County.

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July 16, 2019

County commissioners keep moratorium in place on new oil and gas development applications and seismic testing.

The county commissioners took public testimony on July 16 on whether the moratorium should be modified in any way. The moratorium remains in effect until March 28, 2020.

Boulder County, Colo. - At a public hearing on July 16 (video archive), the Board of Boulder County Commissioners (board) reviewed a staff presentation and heard more than three hours of public testimony before reaffirming their decision to enact a temporary moratorium on the acceptance and processing of new oil and gas development applications and seismic testing. The moratorium remains in effect until March 28, 2020.

The 9-month moratorium will allow staff time to research and draft changes to Article 12 of the Land Use Code, Special Review for Oil and Gas Operations in light of the local government authority clarified and expanded by Senate Bill 19-181.

Based on public input, it's clear that Boulder County residents continue to be very concerned about the public health and environmental impacts of oil and gas development. The overwhelming majority of our constituents support us taking the time we need to put into place the strongest possible protections allowed under law – and we have acted accordingly.

- Board of County Commissioners Chair Elise Jones

It's imperative that we take the time needed to explore all of the options made available to us through the passage of SB 181 and that we look for ways to continue to make Boulder County's oil and gas regulations the strongest possible in the protection of our community's health and the environment.

- Board of County Commissioners Vice-Chair Deb Gardner

It is critical we protect the people’s health and the environment in Boulder County to the full extent to the law. That is why it is so important that we impose a drilling and fracking moratorium now. New state laws give local governments more power. We need this time to come up with the best, most protective laws we possibly can. We also encourage residents to also stay involved at the state level to strengthen state laws and regulations on fracking wells.

- Boulder County Commissioner Matt Jones.

At the July 16 hearing, staff outlined a work plan for amending Article 12 that includes research, drafting, stakeholder discussions, public processes, Boulder County Planning Commission hearings, Board of County Commissioner hearings, and staff implementation of the amended regulations as ultimately adopted by the board.

The schedule for the regulation update has not been finalized, but information on public hearing dates will be available on the county's oil and gas website and publicly noticed.


For updates and information about the county’s role in oil and gas development, visit the county’s Oil and Gas Development webpage. Notices of future meeting and hearings will also be sent to the county’s Oil and Gas News list (signup via email or mobile number).