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Erie, Colorado town board approves new code for operators

The town of Erie, Colorado, passed a new code for in-town oil and gas operations, affecting major oil and gas companies like Anadarko (ticker: APC), Noble Energy (ticker: NE), Encana (ticker: ECA) and Synergy Resources Corp (ticker: SYRG).

The new code creates two types of review processes for companies looking to drill near Erie; one with stricter rules, but a faster permitting process, and a second that requires companies to meet state standards, but with a more arduous review process.

Erie

Source: Chesapeake Energy Erie is marked in red

The first option restrictions against noise, and setback rules, that exceed the standards of the state of Colorado, but in exchange, Erie has agreed to streamline the permitting process for operators who voluntarily choose the stricter rules. The second option allows operators to meet standards based off state regulations, but will require public hearings and approval from the town’s Planning Commission and Board of Trustees before the company is given final approval.

The measure passed by a vote of 6-to-7, with the one dissenting vote coming from Trustee Dan Woog, who said he would like more time to discuss the changes with the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA). COGA Community Outreach Coordinator Anne Carto called some of the new options “unachievable” for oil and gas operators.

Mayor Pro Tem Mark Gruber said that a third option also exists, in which companies can create an operator agreement with the city of Erie, much like Encana did in August, reports The Denver Business Post.

As part of the operator agreement reached with ECA, the company agreed to hold neighborhood meetings prior to submitting state permits, observe noise regulations five decibels lower than state regulations and setbacks more than 1,000 feet from homes for eight pad sites in the agreement area, as well as to perform leak inspections exceeding state requirements.


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