Concerns over oil and gas take center stage in Broomfield

Posted at 10:17 PM, May 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-10 00:45:48-04

BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- A week after the governor ordered statewide testing and inspection of oil & gas wells, the Broomfield City Council took up the issue to a packed house of concerned citizens. 

"I don't know if it's hazardous, if there's some kind of risk," Broomfield resident Guyleen Castriotta said. 

She's referring to oil and gas flow lines buried under the ground. A cut flow line was the cause of the Firestone house explosion. 

"We don't know what's underneath our home either. Anything could happen at any time to us," she continued. 

Castriotta was one of dozens who came out to the meeting that went late into the evening on Tuesday. 

Denver7 asked the Broomfield mayor if any flow line mapping would be done moving forward.

"Well that's what we're hoping to do, but if you watched state Legislature last night, they actually bogged that," Randy Ahrens said. 

State lawmakers filibustered and shot down an effort to make public oil and gas company flow line maps late Monday. 

The Mayor says Broomfield is "ahead of the field" when it comes to flow lines, citing a 2002 ordinance that forced companies to dig up abandoned flow lines from wells that were capped. That's for lines since 2002.

"Prior to that 2002 ordinance? That's something we'll need to double check," Ahrens said. "And then the question is how to ensure all those flow lines are capped."

The next step? Broomfield is working on redrawing its oil and gas master plan. That will be discussed at a meeting later this month. 

Other points from the city council meeting:

  • One of five companies operating wells in Broomfield has already completed its inspection and testing of wells ordered by Governor Hickenlooper.
  • The other four companies are in the process of complying.
  • One inspector in Broomfield completed 73 inspections of wells in each of the past two years.