By Makenzie O’Keefe
BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4)– The Broomfield City Council approved an agreement with an oil and gas company to bring 84 wells to the area despite homeowners’ protests, in a meeting that began Tuesday night and continued through early Wednesday morning.
After several hours of discussion with city leaders and residents, city council passed the agreement in a 6-4 vote. It’s a controversial issue that has created a lot of conversation over the past year in several neighborhoods in Broomfield and nearby Adams County.
The agreement means city leaders will work with Extraction Oil and Gas Inc. to bring 84 wells to proposed sites in northern Broomfield, under some conditions.
City leaders say approving this agreement gives Broomfield more control over the matter. It allowed them to work with Extraction Oil and Gas Inc. to develop protections for area residents such as noise restrictions, piping, air quality monitoring and requiring a well to be 1,000 feet away from a home.
The Mayor of Broomfield said this helps to address concerns made by residents.
“If we didn’t pass it, it could go back to state standards and that would mean wells would be 500 feet away,” explained Mayor Rand Ahrens. “At least with the well pads we now have, they will be 1,000 feet and quite frankly, this is one of the best deals any community has in the state of Colorado.”
Many residents showed up to the city council meeting to express both support and concerns about what this means for their health and quality of life. Megan Townsend has been fighting the idea and lives in one of the homes closest to the proposed site along Northwest Parkway.
“We’ll see what happens. I really hope not to be on the news with kids hacking and coughing,” Townsend said. “I hope it is peaceful and we can get it over with as quickly as possible.”
Townsend said the proposed site has wells along the Adams County border, but those who live in Adams County had very little chance to provide input on the issue.
Extraction Oil and Gas Inc. released a statement Wednesday morning reading in part, “We are pleased with the far-reaching effects of both this process and the agreement created between Extraction and the City and County of Broomfield, and we applaud the pragmatic approach of the Broomfield Councilmembers who seized on this opportunity to create a best-in-class development.”
The company says they plan to spud the initial Broomfield wells from the Coyote Trails pad by the end of the year.