Oil-friendly Fort Collins region approves 1st oil and gas regs

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FORT COLLINS | Commissioners in Larimer County approved regulations for new oil and gas facilities for the first time.

The board of commissioners in Larimer County Board voted Monday to adopt changes to the county land use code covering oil and gas development, The Coloradoan reports.

Larimer County previously had no regulations on oil and gas facilities, leaving their approval and monitoring to state agencies, Commissioner Tom Donnelly said.

The new rules reflect compromises reached after an 18-month development process involving citizens, a 15-member task force and county staff, commissioners said

Commissioner John Kefalas, the lone vote against the changes, said he sought more air and water quality monitoring.

County voters rejected a November 2018 ballot issue proposing 2,500-foot (762-meter) setbacks of oil and gas facilities from homes, schools and waterways.

The commissioners enacted a planning commission recommendation for a minimum 1,000-foot (305-meter) setback from new oil and gas operations for residential and commercial buildings.

“I think the citizens have said they want reasonable regulations,” Commissioner Steve Johnson said. “They don’t want to shut down the oil and gas industry, but they are concerned about the public health effects of oil and gas activity in our county.”