The drilling process
Oil and gas drilling, and its regulation, are technical processes and we understand that citizens often have many questions concerning both. To help, we provide Frequently Asked Questions and Fast Facts documents in order to answer the most common questions. Additionally, we are available to answer questions at 970-350-9780.
Oil and gas drilling is a complex process with a complex relationship to people and the environment. In addition to others found online, this video shows the basic technique used to access minerals. One technique, hydraulic fracturing (fracking), is used in almost all modern wells. Operators must list chemicals used in fracking at a registry, "FracFocus."
Oil and gas regulations
City of Greeley local development regulations
Within City limits, oil and gas facilities are considered under 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 use by special review cases must be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission. Specific regulations concerning oil and gas are found in Title 18.56. All other applicable standards from the Development Code (Chapter 18) also apply.
State of Colorado oil and gas regulations
The State regulates all below-ground and active drilling aspects of oil and gas development. The 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 submitted in advance of actual activity on the site. Notices of these permits are sent to local jurisdictions through the city-appointed Local Government Designee. We then provide the information to you via our interactive map.
Public health considerations
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is involved in review and consultation of oil and gas sites. CDPHE also provides a summary of many of the studies of potential health effects associated with oil and gas production.
The impact of oil and gas production on regional air quality is currently being researched in more detail on a national scale. Within the State of Colorado, several studies are planned, with work being conducted in 2014 and expected to conclude in 2016.
You can find additional air quality information, including today's ratings, on the CDPHE Air Quality page.