To date, there are no directional wells that extend under neighborhoods in unincorporated Arapahoe County. Horizontal wells are only 5 to 7 inches in diameter and have cement and steel casings that support the production tubing. At depths of over 7,000 feet below the surface, the dense rock structure above can fully support a minimal void of this size.
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Hydraulic fracturing or fracking has been used by the oil and gas industry since the 1940s. The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, managed by the State of Colorado, is a great resource for detailed information about fracking, why it’s done, how it’s regulated and more. Visit the following links to learn more: Animation of Hydraulic Fracturing
No. Arapahoe County does not have the authority to ban oil and gas drilling or fracking. Mineral rights associated with oil and gas are property rights.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has regulatory power over oil and gas operations. Colorado Senate Bill 181 was passed in April of 2019 allowing local governments more control over the surface impacts. In late 2019, the County began a public feedback process to draft new regulations that, if approved, will be adopted to the Land Development Code. This process is expected to be complete around May of 2020. Visit www.apapahoegov.com/oilandgas for updates on the process.
The state health department (CDPHE) regulates air emissions from oil and gas facilities.
STATE: Visit this link on the state's page http://cogcc.state.co.us/permits.html#/permits and use the drop down menus to choose Arapahoe County. Once you hit "Go," a list of current permit applications will appear. To comment on a case, click on the document number in the far left column and a form will open for you to enter comments.
COUNTY: Visit the current planning cases map to identify the project near you. Click on the project and a pop window will identify the appropriate staff member to contact for more information on the case.
If you live within ½ mile of a new oil and gas operation, your water well can be sampled at no expense to you. Call the County at 720-874-6650 for more information about this.
Most water well concerns (color, odor, or suspected contamination) are caused by lack of recent disinfection. For questions about water quality, contact Arapahoe County Public Health.
The regulated distance from an oil and gas well location to residences or community buildings. It is measured from the center of the well to the nearest wall of the residence or other building. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) requires a 500-foot setback from most buildings, and 1,000 feet from schools and high-occupancy buildings.