Oil and Gas

Proposed Oil and Gas Amendments

Planning staff is proposing amendments to increase regulatory protections for oil and gas operations within unincorporated Arapahoe County and ensure the regulations align with neighboring jurisdictions and industry best practices. 

The proposed amendments include:

  • One-mile setbacks from existing and planned reservoirs (unless downgradient conditions can clearly be demonstrated); 
  • Access road standards to match current fire code standards;
  • Alternative emergency access roads for pads located in areas with only one way in and one way out; 
  • Handwashing supplies for workers at oil and gas sites;
  • Allow natural gas-powered cryptocurrency mining as an accessory use to oil and gas facilities; and 
  • Additional application information, including a project narrative, photo simulations and documentation of floodplain, wetlands and riparian area boundaries.
  • Operation of oil and gas facilities in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. 

The proposed draft regulation amendments are available for review and the public can comment on these proposed amendments through June 29, 2023. 

Get Involved

Along with commenting on the proposed amendments, learn more about the regulations during an open house from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 21, 2023, at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 25690 E Quincy Ave, Aurora, 80016. 

Comment on the proposed amendments by contacting Energy Specialist Diane Kocis at DKocis@arapahoegov.com or by calling 720-874-6751.

This is the first phase of a revision of the oil and gas regulations. A second phase is scheduled for later this year. Topics will include financial assurances, air quality monitoring, school setbacks and road impact fees.

Adopted Regulations

Arapahoe County Commissioners on Nov. 9, 2021, approved new oil and gas regulations that address key safety, traffic and quality of life considerations. The new rules aim to create parity between industry and resident concerns while also allowing for continued production and growth in unincorporated Arapahoe County. 

The new regulations were drafted due to the passage of Colorado Senate Bill 181 in April 2019. This legislation gave additional authority to county governments to enhance oil and gas regulations in their communities. In response, Arapahoe County drafted the approved amendment to the Land Development Code. 

To better understand key concepts of the regulations, please reference our Oil and Gas definitions document.

Public Hearings:

The new regulations were adopted after public hearings held by the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners in the Fall of 2021. It is important to keep in mind that the criteria the Board of County Commissioners gave to staff in drafting the new rules are as follows:

  • Impact on the Public
  • Alignment with the State (Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission new rules & Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment new and existing rules)
  • Best Management Practices
  • Industry Impact
  • Impact to County Resources

The Big Picture

Arapahoe County has a diverse landscape and many residents have sought a rural lifestyle in the eastern portion of the County where oil and gas drilling primarily occurs. The County is committed to balancing quality of life, health and safety issues without inhibiting responsible development through an open feedback process with stakeholders. New regulations have been drafted to reduce the impacts of oil and gas development on nearby properties and local infrastructure. Updates to the Land Development Code have provided the framework. The following issues have been raised by the community. Click the icons to explore more information.


of Life

Visual Mitigation
LEDs and shields
Setbacks and sound walls
Berms and tree planting
Air quality/emission monitoring
Seasonal restrictions
Timing restrictions
Quality of life

and Safety

Emergency Response Plans

Plan submission and training
Well water sample testing


Community Notification

Public meetings and hearings
Process efficiencies
The Process