The Dacono City Council voted on Monday, November 27, 2017 to establish a six-month moratorium on oil and gas permitting within city limits. The moratorium will allow the City of Dacono to update regulations concerning oil and gas activities which were last updated in 1996.
Given the growth of oil and gas interests in Colorado, and specifically in the Wattenberg Field where Dacono is located, City staff identified the need for a comprehensive study of impacts of oil and gas activities. This review seeks to determine whether the City’s existing zoning and land use regulations pertaining to oil and gas are sufficient to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the City and its residents or if updated regulations are needed.
The City of Dacono anticipates it will continue to receive applications for oil and gas activities for the foreseeable future and therefore wants to be sure it’s adopting best management practices to protect residents and the local environment.
Currently, the City does not have any standardization in its review of applications for oil and gas activities. The moratorium will allow the City to align regulations with changes in state law, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Rules, and changes to technology and best practices within the oil and gas industry that have occurred since City regulations were last updated more than 20 years ago.
The ordinance authorizing the moratorium includes a provision that would allow for oil and gas wells to be developed while the moratorium is in effect so long as they are authorized by an operator agreement approved by the City Council. This provides a path for several operators, of which the City is aware, to move projects forward while regulations are updated.