On September 21, 2015, The Colorado Supreme Court accepted the appeals from the cities of Longmont and Fort Collins opposing two District Court decisions which overruled their moratoria against hydraulic fracturing.
In November 2012, voters in Longmont City approved an ordinance prohibiting the use of hydraulic fracturing within the city’s limits. A similar ordinance also was adopted as part of the November 2013 election in the city Council of Fort Collins. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association challenged both ordinances claiming that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act preempted local regulations.
On July 24, 2014, the District Court in Boulder County concluded that the Longmont Municipal Charter’s provisions prohibiting hydraulic fracturing are invalid as being preempted by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act. On August 7, 2014, the Larimer County District Court reached the same conclusion. The cities appealed the District Court decisions to the Colorado Court of Appeals, which then referred both cases to the state Supreme Court for a ruling.
The Colorado Supreme Court now will decide on whether “home-rule cities are preempted from promulgating local land-use regulations that prohibit the use of hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas operations and the storage of such waste products within city limits when the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regulates hydraulic fracturing within the state.”
Information on these cases will available at docket no. 15SC667 for the City of Longmont v. Colorado Oil and Gas Association case and at docket no. 15SC668 for the City of Fort Collins v. Colorado Oil and Gas Association.
Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow