County to consider new fracking regulations


The Boulder County commissioners have directed their staff to explore options for additional regulations on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”


And officials say it is likely that the inquiry will lead to more controls on the practice.

Commissioner Will Toor told Boulder Weekly that the board has asked the county attorney’s office and the county’s land use department to investigate whether any additional “meaningful” controls can be put on fracking in unincorporated areas of Boulder County. He says there may be options for regulation beyond what the county already has in the books.

Dale Case, director of the land use department, says his staff plans to compare the county’s current regulations to what other jurisdictions are doing.

Several municipalities nationwide, including Longmont, have enacted moratoriums on fracking due to public health concerns about the practice. More recently, residents of Erie have complained about oil and gas wells planned near homes and schools.

Case says it is likely that county staff will recommend additional regulations to the commissioners.

“I think we will end up there,” he says. According to Case, the county has had regulations on drilling since the mid-1990s, but since then, the state has changed its approach to the controls over drilling, which may open the door to additional county rules.