Oil and Gas Information

Oil & Gas Information

Oil & Gas Facility Regulations

On July 27, 2021, the Board of County Commissioners approved new oil and gas regulations.  The County's revised Oil and Gas Regulation are located in the Development Standards and Regulations manual:

Comments, questions, and feedback regarding these regulations can be submitted to Greg Dean, Oil & Gas Liaison, via email at gdean@adcogov.org or phone at 720.523.6891.

2021 Oil & Gas Text Amendments

Based on Adams County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) direction, the County will be conducting amendments to the county's oil and gas regulations for alignment with new state regulations from the COGCC and AQCC. This process began in February 2021 and will continue through the spring and summer. If you or your group are interested in participating or would like to be kept informed throughout this process, please request to be added to the contact list by emailing Greg Dean, the Oil & Gas Liaison.   

The first stakeholder meetings were held February 18-23, 2021 for various stakeholder groups.  These public meetings were general in nature and the objectives were to obtain and solict input, comments and feedback prior to Staff presenting its proposals and recommendations to the BoCC and Planning Commission.  Topics discussed at these meetings included the proposed timeline for the process, application submittal requirements, evaluation criteria, and setback among others items. More information can be found in Staff's presentation.

Staff held public stakeholder meetings to solicit feedback, comments, and questions on the draft oil and gas regulations throughout late-April via Zoom. Staff's presentation can be found here and a recording of one of these stakeholder meetings can be heard on YouTube.  There was the final public Study Session with the BoCC held on Tuesday May 11, 2021 in which Staff summarized all public and referral agency comment received to-date and proposed edits and revisions for a second draft of the text amendments.  A summary of public and referral agency comment recieved to-date with Staff's response can be found here.  The Board provided direction and tentatively accepted Staff's proposals for the second draft.  

The final draft of the text amendments are posted here. The summary of all stakeholder, public and referral agency comment along with Staff's responses and recommendations can be found here.  Staff hosted a public open-house on Tuesday June 29, 2021 at the Adams County Government Center for residents to ask specific questions about the proposed regulations or topic areas being revised.  T

The Planning Commission heard this case on Thursday July 8 and voted 4-3 to recommend approval to the BoCC.  The Board of County Commissioners heard this case on Tuesday July 27 and voted 3-1 to approve the the amendments as recommended by Staff.  The final draft regulation redlines are posted here.  Staff has until August 10 to make minor grammatical and formatting changes before final posting.  Last Updated 07/29/2021.  

Planned Workover Rig Activity

Workover rigs are mobile rigs used mainly to perform remedial operations such as routine maintenance and plugging and abandonment. This type of equipment is not the same as larger rigs often used to drill new horizontal wellbores. These operations are generally allowed under COGCC and County rules and typically occurs during daylight hours only and for short time durations. An updated list of workover rig activity can be found in the report here. Should you have any questions, please reach out to the County Oil & Gas Liaison via the contact information below. Last updated: 10/12/2021.

Ivey LC Pad Information

The Ivey LC Pad is an oil and gas facility operated by Great Western in western unincorporated Adams County. The Board of County Commissioners held a public monitoring update meeting regarding this facility on January 5, 2021. Staff’s presentation can be viewed here. This summary letter is a follow-up by County staff, intended to provide more detailed information regarding specific questions and comments raised during that update meeting pertaining to air emissions monitoring, operational standards in effect at the Ivey site, and mud usage/odor concerns. For additional information regarding the CDPHE's air monitoring at Ivey please visit their Oil & Gas Health Page. The Operator has completed the drilling phase on 11 wellbores and moving the drilling rigs off location.  They are now moving on to completion (hydraulic fracturing) operations and will have one frac-crew on the location and completions will begin in early-June.    

The Operator has also revised the Emergency Response Plan to incorporate notification protocols for any school within 2,000 feet of all oil and gas location in the County to all applicable emergency personnel in the unlikely event of an emergency. Additionally, Silver Creek Elementary and Little Lights Academy have been added to the North Metro Fire Protection District's CodeRED notification system. Residents can also signup for the CodeRED alert system for all types of incidents, including hazardous materious emergency, severe weather, and other threats via the North Metro Fire District webpage. Last updated 06/04/2021.

Oil & Gas Information

The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) governs the permitting and regulation of oil and gas wells throughout the state. Adams County has limited authority when it comes to the oversight of oil and gas operations within unincorporated areas of the county.

Adams County regularly submits public comments on oil and gas related applications and rulemakings at the State-level and within other municipalities aimed at addressing and mitigating potential land use impacts to public health and safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife resources. The county has commented on the following proposals since October 2019:

  • City of Aurora: MCC 3-66 25-27 Pad
  • City of Brighton: Prairie LE Pad, Pioneer Produced Water Pipeline
  • City of Commerce City: Condor Pad, Blue Jay Pad, Owl Pad, Falcon Pad
  • COGCC: Flowline Rulemaking, Ivey LC Pad, Gus LD Pad, Freedom 33 Pad (Weld County), Prairie LE Pad, Wellbore Integrity Rulemaking, MCC 3-66 Pad, Mission Change Rulemaking, Conner Pad, Ivey LC Pad Air Monitoring Plan, Financial Assurance Informational Docket
  • Air Quality Control Division: Air Quality Monitoring Plans: Extraction Interchange Pad, Northwest A/B Pads, United Pads (Broomfield), Verdad County Line Pad (Weld County)
  • Others: Air Quality Control Commision Rulemaking

Mineral rights determinations is a complex matter in Colorado because there can be difference between ownership of surface rights and ownership of minerals (oil and gas) beneath a property. SB19-181 has expanded certain mineral owners right's regarding forced pooling and non-consenting party requests. Spacing, pooling, and royalities are all regulated by the COGCC and not Adams County. Additional information regarding mineral rights and forced pooling is available by visiting the COGCC website.  

Adams County Oil Production & Activity

Adams County Oil & Gas Inspection Program

Pursuant to CRS 34-60-106(15), in 2016, the Adams County Board of County Commissioners entered into an agreement with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to foster a predictable and consistent regulatory framework for industry through the non-exclusive assignment of the Commission’s oil and gas operations inspection function to Adams County. Under this agreement, the inspector position is funded by the county and is inspecting on behalf of both agencies.

Adams County implemented a new oil and gas inspection fee on January 1, 2020, to cover the costs associated with the annual oil and gas inspection program aimed at ensuring compliance with local regulations under new authority to assess local inspection fees granted by SB-181. To learn more about the new oil and gas inspection fee, please read the frequently asked questions. An updated list of recent oil and gas inspections can be found in the Weekly Oil and Gas Activity Report.

The Oil & Gas Inspectors are responsible for field inspections, complaint response, and compliance oversight of state and county regulations. Enforcement of state regulations remains under the purview of the COGCC while enforcement of local land use regulations is carried out by the county.

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 spills such as soil staining;
  • Proper positioning of valves and hatches.
  • Stormwater and sediment controls, along with vehicle tracking and condition of access roads; and
  • Permit-specific conditions of approval.

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:

Traffic Impact Study

Orphan Wells

Orphan wells and sites are oil and gas facilities for which no owner or Operator can be found or where an owner is unwilling or unable to maintain responsibility for the compliance and reclamation of the facility.  In those instances those facilities ultimately become wards of the state.  These wells and sites are managed through the state Orphaned Well Program (OWP) which was created in 2017 and expanded by then-Governor Hickenlooper to address these types of facilities.  The COGCC prioritizes the plugging, abandonment, reclamation, and remediation of these sites by classifing them as either High, Medium, or Low priority based on factors such as the age of the well, reportable spills, population density, and environmental risks. These types of wells higher potential to impact public health, safety, welfare, the environment, and wildlife resources in the form of historical spills and releases, leaks of methane, greenhouse gases, or Hazardous Air Pollutants.

As of July 2021 there are 567 orphaned wells or sites in Colorado, 77 in Adams County.  The County currently has the second most orphaned wells or sites in the state behind Logan County (100 sites) and tied with La Plata County (77 sites).  The funding for the OWP comes from a mill levy on hydrocarbons produced in the state and annual budget appropriation from the state legislature.   

Information on the orphaned wells and sites in Adams County can be found here . For the most up-to-date information on the Orphaned Well Program, please visit the COGCC website here. In addition, the COGCC Interactive Map  has a layer showing the location and current status of orphaned wells.  Updated 08/16/2021

Frequently Asked Questions and Information

Contacts

Comments and questions concerning local oil and gas permits and regulations should be sent to the Adams County Oil & Gas Liaison: 

Greg Dean | Email
Oil & Gas Liaison
Community & Economic Development Department
4430 S. Adams County Pkwy.
Brighton, CO 80601
Ph: 720.523.6891

For oil and gas leasing, easements, and surface use requests on county-owned property, contact:

Nicci Beauprez | Email
Project Manager - Land & Assets
Facilities & Fleet Management Department
4430 S. Adams County Pkwy.
Brighton, CO 80601
Ph: 720.523.6060 | Website 

 

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)

Complaints

Should you believe you are experiencing non-emergency impacts from noise, light, odor, dust, or mud tracking on roads that may be associated with oil and gas operations please reach out to Keith Huck, Senior Oil & Gas Inspector via the contact information below. Should this impact occur after normal business hours please contact Greg Dean, Oil & Gas Liaison, by e-mail or phone. Additionally, you may file a state complaint regarding noise, light, odor, and dust with the COGCC via their Online Complaint Portal. If you have a health related complaint, you can file such with the CDPHE via their Report Your Concern portal.

Keith Huck Email
Senior Oil & Gas Inspector 
Community & Economic Development Department
4430 S. Adams County Pkwy.
Brighton, CO 80601
Ph: 720.766.4175

Greg Dean Email
Oil & Gas Liaison
Community & Economic Development Department
4430 S. Adams County Pkwy.
Brighton, CO 80601
Ph: 720.523.6891