Response of the Larimer Alliance for Health, Safety, & the Environment to the draft revisions to county land use code

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By Ed Behan                                                                                                                                                                                              Media Liaison                                                                                                                                                                                            e-mail press@larimeralliance.org 

 

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The Larimer Alliance for Health, Safety & the Environment is a coalition of Northern Colorado citizens and groups. We have organized to safeguard that Larimer County develops rules for oil and gas extraction in accordance with Colorado Senate Bill 19-181, prioritizing protection of public health and safety, and the integrity of public lands. 

The Larimer Alliance has monitored the work of the Larimer County Oil and Gas Task Force since county management installed the 15-member task force in the Spring of this year. We have offered information and witness as the process moved forward very quickly. On Nov. 14, Larimer County released the rough draft of proposed revisions to the county land use code regarding O&G operations. Regular meetings of the 15-member task force have ceased. Meanwhile, county staff has announced anticipating completion of the second draft in early December. Larimer Alliance was invited, along with the rest of the public, to comment on the draft regulations prior to the second draft. Larimer Alliance offered a summary, as well as specific comments, to Larimer County on Nov. 21, 2019. 

 

The comprehensive document (link) and an executive summary (link) appear on our website and are linked to this release. Six summary points appear below.

 

  1. Implement strong accountability which keeps the burden and impacts of O&G development from costing Larimer County taxpayers.
  2. Develop strong land use codes regarding O&G operations to protect and minimize risk to public health, safety, welfare, and environmental resources. This should include mandating a 2,000 foot setback from homes, high occupancy buildings, parks and recreational facilities, and critical watersheds and sensitive environments.
  3. Require strong and definitive standards addressing air and water quality, as well as nuisance factors of noise, odor, traffic, etc. This should include continuous air quality monitoring such as conducted by INSTAAR in Boulder County. 
  4. Remove loophole language that promotes ambiguity and potentially allows unnecessary risk to the public in all these areas of concern.
  5. Assert by printed word and action the county’s clear intent to protect public health, safety, welfare, and the environment, with a timely and transparent public process regarding all stages of O&G development in Larimer County.
  6. Finally, we stand by our original request to put a hold on O&G permit decisions until the COGCC completes their rule making, and the county develops their own comprehensive and complementary system of regulation for O&G projects. 

The Larimer Alliance will continue to monitor the revisions to the proposed draft regulations. We stand ready to advise and provide additional resources in support of finalizing solid and comprehensive regulations for O&G development in Larimer County 

 

Alliance members and groups represent thousands of Larimer County citizens concerned about oil and gas development. It includes many individuals, as well as these respected group partners:

 

Sierra Club/Poudre Canyon Group                                      Fort Collins Sustainability Group Climate Justice Ministry of Foothills Unitarian Church                      Transition Fort Collins

Physicians for Social Responsibility Colorado                              350 of Northern Colorado                 

League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans                 Community for Sustainable Energy

Social Justice Ministry of Namaqua UU Church, Loveland                           Colorado Rising Fort Collins for Progress

 

www.larimeralliance.org