Oil & Gas Information
Process & Timeline: New Oil & Gas Regulations
June through August: Staff initiates work on drafting regulations.
June 19 - July 3: Individual stakeholders meet to obtain input into regulation content.
July 16: Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) conduct study session to present draft regulations.
July 16-30: Staff revises regulations based upon BOCC input.
July 30: Start public hearing process for adoption of new regulations.
July 31 - Aug. 7: Public meeting for new regulations.
Aug. 8: Planning Commission holds study session.
Aug. 22: Planning Commission holds hearing on new regulations.
Sept. 3: BOCC holds public hearing on new regulations.
Sept. 20: Moratorium expires.
Adams County contact: Katie Keefe, Environmental Program Manager
Oil & Gas Information
On March 22, 2016, Adams County approved amendments to the Development Standards and Regulations related to the local approval process for oil and gas development. The current regulations require all oil and gas operators to obtain approval for any new oil and gas facilities on a site-specific basis. There are two options for an operator to obtain County approval of a new oil and gas facility location:
- A Special Use Permit (SUP) or
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and an Administrative Use by Special Review (AUSR) Permit
The Special Use Permit option requires a public hearing before the Board of Adjustment (BOA). In lieu of an SUP, an operator may elect to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the County. Operators who hold MOUs with the County must also receive a site-specific permit in the form of an Administrative Use by Special Review. The Development Standards and Regulations outline the processes for obtaining an SUP, an MOU, and an AUSR permit in detail. Click here to download a larger version of the flow chart at right that depicts the AUSR permit process.
Adams County Oil & Gas Inspection Program
The inspector position was created when the Adams County Board of Commissioners entered into an agreement with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) in an effort to increase public outreach and provide administration of the county’s new oil and gas regulations approved in March 2016. Under this agreement, the inspector position is funded by the county, trained by the COGCC, and is inspecting on behalf of both agencies.
The the Oil & Gas Inspector is responsible for field inspections, complaint response, and participates in state and county enforcement of regulations.
When on a well pad, the inspector assesses compliance with requirements for:
- Signs and markers on storage tanks and wellheads, in addition to emergency contact information;
- Housekeeping items, such as debris, trash, weeds, and storage;
- Fencing and berming condition, maintenance, type, and location;
- Noise, odor, and signs of soil staining;
- Proper positioning of valves and hatches.
- Fugitive emissions, if suspected, including documentation in the form of FLIR video;
- Stormwater and sediment controls, along with vehicle tracking, and condition of access roads; and
- County USR Permit site-specific conditions of approval.
For a list of the most recent inspections of wells located within unincorporated Adams County, including links to the respective inspection reports, click HERE.
Traffic Impact Fee Study
The Community and Economic Development Department worked with TischslerBise and Felsburg, Holt & Ullevig, to develop and recommend a traffic impact fee for oil and gas development which was approved by the Board of County Commissioners in a public hearing on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.
The full report is attached below for your review:
An orphan well is an oil and gas well that no longer has an operator responsible for maintaining it. These sites may result in adverse environmental impacts because no responsible party can be found, or such responsible party is unwilling or unable to mitigate such impacts. These wells and associated sites ultimately become wards of the state.
Former Governor John Hickenlooper signed an executive order in July 2018 to address the potential safety issue of orphan wells, requiring their disclosure, ranking of priority, and cleanup.
Adams County is home to 21 orphan wells and 12 orphan sites with oil and gas infrastructure; information on these wells has been compiled by County staff and can be found here. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the COGCC website at http://cogcc.state.co.us/reg.html#/enforcement/orphans In addition, the COGCC Interactive Map (https://cogccmap.state.co.us/cogcc_gis_online/) has a layer showing the location and current status of orphan wells.
Frequently Asked Questions and Information
- Adams County Oil and Gas Regulations
- Adams County Oil and Gas Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
- Who Has Applied & Where?
- Colorado Oil and Gas Permits – For current and pending State permits. Select “Adams” from the drop-down menu and click “Go!”
- Colorado Oil and Gas Permit and Data Map
- How to Provide Comments on Colorado State Oil and Gas Applications
- Adams County has executed MOUs with the following operators:
- How do I file a complaint?
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has a process for how public complaints related to oil and gas operations are received, processed, and closed
- Concerned about your health and oil & gas operations?
Contact CDPHE's Oil & Gas Health Information and Response Team at 303.389.1687 or www.colorado.gov/OGhealth.
- Information About Injection Wells
Comments and questions concerning state oil and gas permits and regulations should be sent to:
Melissa M. Housey, Oil & Gas Location Assessment Specialist | Email
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
1120 Lincoln Street, Suite 801
Denver, CO 80203
303.894.2100 (ext. 5194)
Comments and questions concerning local oil and gas permits and regulations should be sent to the Adams County Oil & Gas Liaison:
Christine Dougherty | Email
Community & Economic Development Department
4430 South Adams County Parkway
Brighton, CO 80601
For oil and gas leasing, easements, and surface use requests on county-owned property, contact: