At the August 14, 2018, City Council meeting, City Council adopted a resolution requiring staff to bring forward to City Council all new spacing applications and all new Form 2 and 2A permit applications to receive direction from City Council with regard to requesting hearings before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) on such applications. Staff has also brought forward to City Council two proposed amendments to Broomfield's oil and gas regulations with regard to the following two issues for review:
- A procedure for residents to report nuisance complaints and be assured they will be addressed fully. After first contacting the appropriate staff, if the resident is not satisfied, the complaint will be referred to the relevant department head or hearing officer for a hearing; and
- Requirement that all new surface development shall be no closer than 1,320 feet to an existing oil and gas well, unless there is written notice and informed consent from the initial surface property purchaser.
The updated regulations were discussed by the City Council at the January 15, 2019, Study Session. Staff received direction from Council on potential revisions including a request to clarify the definition of affected parties and to clarify that hearings may also be based on violations of Broomfield Municipal Code. These ordinances will be on Council's agenda for first reading on January 22, 2019.
Broomfield County Commons Designated Outside Activity Area Designation
The hearing on Broomfield's Designated Outside Activity Area application for the Broomfield County Commons is currently scheduled on the COGCC's January 28 and 29, 2019, meeting in Denver at the COGCC offices at 1120 Lincoln Street. Broomfield was required to send a notice by certified mail in December, with regard to its DOAA application, to all persons who may own mineral or other property rights in the DOAA. The cost of the research and notice mailing was $57,500. The notice can be viewed
. Broomfield's pre-hearing statement is available
A map of the proposed DOAA locations is below.
Other Potential Designated Outside Activity Area Designation
Open Space and Trails and City Manager's staff have discussed pursuing the designated outside activity area designation for other open lands currently in use by the public in Broomfield. Each designation would prevent surface oil and gas development within the designated areas. Staff found the map helpful in this process, as it indicates the currently eligible open areas in various colors and it shows which of those areas are already within an approved spacing unit with a designated surface location.
Staff recommends prioritizing the areas outside of approved spacing units that may be subject to future oil and gas development. Open Space and Trails staff has already done the tally of public use that is necessary to request the designation for The Field, so that is why that is the top recommendation. Here is the list of the open areas for which the DOAA designation could be pursued by Staff in order of priority, for Council review and comment:
- The Field
- Ridgeview Heights
- Loc Amora
- Great Western Reservoir
- McKay Landing
- Plaster Reservoir
- Markel Open Space
Broomfield's Air Quality Monitoring and Testing Program
Air quality is a main focus of the Oil and Gas Chapter of Broomfield's Comprehensive Plan as well as the Extraction Operator Agreement. These documents address specific action steps and Best Management Practices (BMPs) related to oil and gas development, operations, and concerns expressed by the public related to potential negative air quality impacts. Contracting for air quality monitoring will support several of the stated policies and associated action steps, as well as inform long-term strategies that may be adopted by Broomfield to address concerns expressed by the public.
On August 28, 2018, City Council approved an air quality testing agreement with Ajax Analytics for air quality monitoring and testing near the Extraction well sites and in nearby neighborhoods, as well as for the development of a webpage to report air quality monitoring results. The air quality program is a combined proposal of Colorado State University and Ajax Analytics. Through Colorado State University's Plume Tracker, canister testing and analysis, and Ajax Analytics' monitoring stations, the data generated will be able to identify trends and monitor operations at well sites and neighborhoods, to determine changes in volatile organic compounds, identify sources of emissions, and the age of emissions. Ajax and CSU will validate data and correlate results with standardized health exposure and safety limits. The total cost of the proposal for three years is $1,762,768 for an annual average cost of $587,589 per year.
Additionally, Broomfield will use this air quality data to provide:
- Information supporting emergency response actions
- Follow-up information to respond to citizen complaints and concerns
- Information supporting follow-up inspections
- Data and trend analysis to support health decision and possible regulatory and statutory changes
A network of 18 monitoring stations, as indicated on the following map, throughout Broomfield has been fully deployed since December, with data being collected on an ongoing basis. All monitoring station data has been, and is currently, being captured in Ajax Analytics' environmental monitoring data platform. Over 1,000,000 data points have been collected to date and is being utilized to validate the monitoring equipment is operating correctly
The contractors, Ajax Analytics and Colorado State University, are making every effort to have the public portal available in January. There were delays associated with the software development over the holidays that have slowed that process, but at the latest, the public portal should be available in February, 2019. This delay has not affected the data collection process. Regarding the Air Quality Monitoring and Testing Program:
Additional time is needed to ensure that the capacity and quality of the portal is sufficient to expand and update the information shared over time. It should be noted that while the monitoring stations were installed in November and December, the first month of data was primarily utilized to calibrate equipment and validate that the IoT sensors and meteorological equipment was operating properly. Baseline air quality data has been collected beginning in October of 2018 using Summa canisters. This data will be summarized and available in the April 2019 report and on the public portal.
Once complete, the public portal will display all of the data collected to date, and will update near-real-time as measurements come in from the monitoring stations. We are also excited to share that the public portal is expected to expand regularly with new features that help us and the public understand the monitoring data. (Ajax Analytics calls them data stories.)
The Ajax monitoring system is not intended to operate as an emergency notification system. However, it is important to note that the system does identify anomalies, such as spikes, that would be immediately reported to Broomfield and staff would follow up as necessary. This follow up may include onsite inspections with the infrared camera and/or contacting emergency responders, if appropriate.
The City and County Manager has approved adding a 19th location for air quality monitoring to its Air Quality Monitoring Program. This location will be just north of Anthem Ranch in Broomfield and south of the planned 30 well Acme Pad in Erie.
the map showing the location of the planned Acme Pad.
The scientists from Ajax Analytics and CSU will determine the exact location of the air monitoring station. Broomfield negotiated this cost neutral expansion of the air quality monitoring program for this added location. It is anticipated that this 19th air quality monitoring station will be deployed as soon as the first week in February.
It is anticipated that Ajax and CSU will provide a presentation to Council on the air quality program in the month of February. The first quarterly summary from Ajax Analytics and CSU planned for delivery in April.
Broomfield special counsel on air quality issues gave comments to the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) on January 17th concerning Broomfield's air quality monitoring system. The AQCC seemed interested in the program and requested that Broomfield keep them informed on information gathered.
Emergency Response Exercises for Extraction Development
The following information summarizes the pertinent information related to the emergency response exercises that have been conducted and will continue to be conducted in 2019.
- The first (and a smaller scale) exercise was conducted on September 27, 2018, at the North Metro Fire Rescue District (NMFRD) training facility. Participants included NMFRD, Broomfield Emergency Management, Broomfield Police Department, Broomfield Public Health, Extraction, and Extraction's contractors. It was intended to be a drill that tested new Field Operations Guidelines (FOGs) that had been developed by NMFRD.
- The second drill, held on January 17, was intended to include greater complexity than the first. It is an industry-led exercise and Extraction has hired a third party consultant in emergency preparedness to develop the exercise scenario and assist with the development of the after action reports.
- The third party is CTEH, who have extensive expertise in emergency response and emergency preparedness. They have provided response resources to some of the largest incidents that have occurred in recent years.
- The CTEH emergency exercise was held on January 17, 2019, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The NMFRD training facility acted as the 'incident site'. In addition, the Broomfield Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated and Extraction will utilize personnel at their Denver location.
- The incident involved in the exercise involved a loss of well control at the Livingston Pad, which involved natural gas and water being released from the well. The Police, Extraction, NMFRD, Extraction, Public Health, Communications, schools, and a State's public safety information officer all responded to the emergency and reacted to the situation. Additional scenarios/complications were added during the exercise, like protestors in the emergency area.
- This was a functional exercise by all participants (including the aforementioned agencies along with Extraction and their contractors) with the primary objective of successfully mitigating an oil and gas disaster.
- As with any other emergency response exercise, the after action plan will identify follow up planning and/or other elements necessary to respond to and correct gaps or other issues identified during the exercise. (Please see City Council roles and responsibilities as outlined in Chapter 2-48 of the Broomfield Municipal code, linked here.)
Recently, staff has been asked about school emergency response preparedness. Schools have been a part of Broomfield's and NMFRD plans. Also, schools have their own procedures that are independent of ours (like notifications for parents and pick-up locations). Here is a link to the Adams 12 School District emergency preparedness plan
Broomfield's Complaint Procedure
On September 30, 2018, Broomfield's online complaint system was launched. The complaint system was developed by staff from various departments, including Public Health, IT, Planning, Police, the North Metro Fire Rescue District, Engineering, Traffic, Communications, and the City Manager's Office. It allows citizens to file a complaint regarding oil and gas issues online at:
A citizen filing a complaint will receive a response that their complaint has been received and is being investigated. Within five business days the citizen will receive a further follow up as to the outcome of the complaint.
Below are reports for November and December 2018, for Council review and comment.
Broomfield Risk Management Assessment
The City and County Manager entered into an agreement with
to conduct a risk assessment of Extraction's well sites for a total amount not to exceed $47,000. DNV-GL is a global quality assurance and risk management company. This
with DNV-GL authorizes them to conduct a hazard identification (HAZID) process for the Extraction oil and gas well sites. The purpose of a HAZID is to identify all reasonably possible sources of hazards and threats to a system and to determine where further risk analysis is warranted. HAZIDs enable the identification of threats in numerous areas such as operations, projects and finance. The HAZID method is often used in conceptual design work, and the intent is to use a structured approach to identify concerns and issues associated with the concept or system being reviewed. In a HAZID study, hazard checklists are generated, and each section or node of the study (i.e. system boundary) is considered against the hazard checklist. Where it is agreed that a threat exists in a particular area, the risk presented by the threat is considered, usually with the aid of a Risk Matrix, and all possible means of either eliminating the hazard or controlling the risk and/or the necessity for further study are noted in HAZID worksheets. This process also validates risks and mitigations that have been previously identified. Actions are assigned to ensure the mitigating control or further study is completed.
DNV-GL staff, Broomfield staff and Extraction staff conducted a four day workshop to develop the risk assessment. It is currently anticipated that the DNV-GL report will be finalized the last week of January. The risk assessment report will be forwarded to Council and posted on the Oil and Gas website. The report will be presented to Council by representative of DNV-GL once it is finalized.
New Oil and Gas Inspectors
Two new oil and gas monitoring specialists (inspectors) have been hired in the Oil and Gas Division. Both of the new employees start work on January 22, 2019. Their first two weeks will involve training and oil and gas site visits with Ed Pottorff, who has helped develop and conduct oil and gas inspections in Broomfield for the last two years. Our first new hire has been a field supervisor on a large number of hydraulic fracturing operations and has supervised safety operations on oil and gas sites. As a petroleum engineer, he brings additional technical knowledge to the entire oil and gas division. The second new hire has a Masters Degree in Environmental Policy & Management. He served as a regulator for the State of Utah Trust Lands Administration and is very knowledgeable on environmental issues and oil and gas industry operations.
Other Meetings and Presentations
Ajax Analytics, CSU, Broomfield, and North Metro Fire Rescue District staff was invited to make a presentation on Broomfield's Air Quality Monitoring Program at Thunder Vista School on January 16, 2019.
Elizabeth Paranhos, Broomfield special oil and gas counsel, represented Broomfield at the Air Quality Control Commission stakeholder meeting on potential new air regulations on January 17, 2019.
Broomfield staff will make a presentation to the Anthem Ranch Oil and Gas Group on February 1, 2019.