For Immediate Release August 20, 2012
Staff Contact: Kim Shugar, PWNR Natural Resources Manager, 303-651-8992
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Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Approves Longmont's Request to Protect Recreation Areas
AUGUST 20, 2012 - Sandstone Ranch Community Park soccer fields and Union Reservoir recreation area received a special designation today protecting these areas from oil and gas drilling. These are the only sites in Colorado to have been granted this designation.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) approved the City’s applications for two Designated Outside Activity Areas (DOAA) pursuant to Commission Rule 603.d. The 100 Series Definitions of the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Rules provide that a DOAA is a “well-defined outside area (such as a playground, recreation area, outdoor theater, or other place of public assembly) that is occupied by twenty (20) or more persons on at least forty (40) days in any twelve (12) month period or by at least five hundred (500) or more people on at least three (3) days in any twelve (12) month period.”
The COGCC rules require that any well drilled shall be no less than 350 feet from the boundary of the DOAA and prohibits drilling within the DOAA boundary. When creating the applications, the City worked cooperatively with the COGCC and TOP Operating, Inc. TOP Operating holds the mineral leases in the area of these sites.
The first designation expands the boundary in Sandstone Ranch Community Park to further include the soccer complex. The previous order covered only the ball fields, but not the soccer fields.
The second application was jointly submitted by the Union Reservoir Company and the City of Longmont, to designate the Union Reservoir Recreation Area as a Designated Outside Activity Area. The City has significant ownership in the Union Reservoir Company and maintains the recreation lease on the property. Union is a popular local and regional destination and has been developed by the City for recreation and public use through a lease granted to the City by the Company.
This is the second significant project in the past few weeks that Top Operating and the City of Longmont have worked on together to protect the health and welfare of Longmont residents balanced with responsible oil and gas development. Last month, the two entities came to an agreement that keeps its oil wells away from homes, monitors water quality and establishes minimum setbacks for well sites.