Menu

Oil and Gas Development

We support the responsible and balanced development of oil and gas. We also recognize that the State, through the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), has significant regulatory control and responsibilities for local drilling. This authority was clarified in 1992, when the City of Greeley lost a Colorado Supreme Court ruling after seeking to prohibit oil and gas development within city limits. Generally, the State’s regulations control below-ground activity, and the active drilling process (including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which is done prior to the completion of the well).

Many activities associated with drilling and producing can still be managed through City regulations. In April 2013 the Greeley City Council and COGCC completed a Memorandum of Understanding, in which the State agreed to defer to the City on matters that harmonize and do not conflict with State rules.

Oil and Gas Health Information and Response program

The Oil and Gas Health Information and Response program was created by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to respond to public concerns about health related to oil and gas activities. It will also gather up-to-date information about oil and gas activities, with a focus on health, and make it accessible to the public.

Report a health concern

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.

External resources

These links may provide addition information on natural gas extraction.

Links to external websites are provided for the convenience of the user and do not indicate endorsement or approval by the City of Greeley.