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The original item was published from 7/30/2014 3:09:54 PM to 10/31/2014 12:10:00 AM.

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City of Brighton Press Releases

Posted on: July 30, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Brighton secures order from COGCC to protect groundwater

City of Brighton staff and special counsel have been working for several months with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and the Oil & Gas industry, represented by Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) on a collaborative approach to protect the city of Brighton’s domestic water source during oil and gas exploration. On July 28, the COGCC unanimously passed a new order which requires specific measures of the oil and gas industry to protect groundwater in and around Brighton.

This special ruling recognizes the unusual circumstance that Brighton obtains the majority of its municipal water supply from shallow groundwater wells. The order establishes buffer zones and best management practices and prevents the drilling of new oil and gas wells within 500 feet of an existing city water well and within 300 feet of any river, stream, lake or ditch which is part of the water supply system for the city. Additional ground water sampling is required within one-half mile radius from any existing city well and within 500 feet of a river, stream, or lake related to the Brighton water supply.

The best management practices (BMP’s) for any new wells within these defined areas require additional measures such as pitless drilling systems, containment of fluids within tanks, berms and containment devices, automated monitoring and shut off capabilities and emergency spill response programs.

“We believe that this action is in the best interest of our citizens and will assure protection of our groundwater as oil and gas exploration takes place in and around our city,” Brighton Mayor Dick McLean said. “This is a great example of cooperation between the city, the state and the oil and gas operators to work together to solve issues important to our community.”
COGCC director Matt Lepore added, “This order demonstrates that local governments, state regulators, and industry members can work together collaboratively to protect Colorado’s environment while developing our oil and gas resources.”
“Engaging with communities to find pragmatic and effective solutions that meet their concerns is a priority,” said Tisha Schuller, President and CEO of COGA. “Once again, we are delighted to see the state process work so well in addressing local interests.”
This special order is effective immediately.


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