The Drilling Process
Oil and gas drilling – and its regulation –
are fairly technical, and the City understands that citizens often have many
questions concerning both. A “
Frequently Asked Questions” is available to answer many common questions,
such as “How does drilling work?” and “Are Greeley’s police and fire departments
trained for a disaster related to a blowout or gas well fire?” A “
Fast Facts” flyer provides a shorter primer on the language of drilling
and local regulations.
Oil and gas drilling is a complex process, with a complex relationship to
people and the environment. In addition to others found on-line, this
shows the basic technique used to access minerals. One technique, hydraulic
fracturing ("fracking"), is used in almost all modern wells. This
information from the COGCC give some information. Operators must list
chemicals used in fracking at a registry, "FracFocus."
City of Greeley Oil & Gas Local Development Regulations
limits, oil and gas facilities are reviewed as a “
Use by Special Review," a type of land use (zoning) permit for land uses
that are allowed, but generally benefit from greater scrutiny. As such, there
are additional design standards required of oil and gas facilities, and the Use
by Special Review must be reviewed and approved by the
Planning Commission. Specific regulations concerning oil and gas are found
Title 18.56, and all
other applicable standards from the Development Code (Chapter 18) also apply.
State of Colorado Oil & Gas Regulations
Roughly speaking, the State regulates all below-ground and active drilling
aspects of oil and gas development. The
Colorado Oil and Gas Conversation
Commission (“COGCC”) is responsible for state permitting and all aspects of
drilling and extraction that are considered matters of State interest.
The State regularly processes operators’ permit
requests, which are often submitted months or
years in advance of actual activity on the site.
Notices of these permits are sent to respective
local jurisdictions through the city-appointed
Local Government Designee.
Regional and local mapping of well sites is available on our
map as well
as through the COGCC
Public Health Considerations
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment ("CDPHE") provides a
summary of some of the many studies of the potential health effects
associated with oil and gas production. The CDPHE is also involved in
review and consultation of oil and gas sites.
Questions about the impacts of oil and gas production to regional air quality
are being researched in more detail on a national scale. Within the State of
studies are planned, with work
being conducted in 2014 and expected to conclude in 2016. Ozone readings at the
ozone monitoring station have been variable since 1990 and are part of the
For more information, please check out our
Back to Oil and Gas page