44 New fracking wells proposed for Erie

Some Background:

Erie has long been a site of extensive oil and gas operations.  The latest proposals aim to drill 26 new fracking wells at the Draco Pad and 18 new fracking wells on the existing Coyote Pad (see update below about the Coyote Pad).  These two problematic sites are close the dividing line where Broomfield County, Boulder County, Weld County, Jefferson and Adams Counties all come together.  It is bad enough that Coyote’s existing fracking site is near several schools, a hospital, homes, a dogpark, a bikepark, supermarkets and a community center – now they want to drill even more wells that would tunnel under a landfill.  Erie currently has at least 218 operating wells with many more proposed, and 8 spills reported in 2023 alone. Here is some video of wells spewing toxic fumes in Erie: here and here and here (from our friends at Earthworks).  Read here about failed efforts to clean up a spill in an Erie neighborhood.  It is past time to say “no” to more neighborhood fracking!

1/24/24 UPDATE:  the ECMC just voted 4 to 1 to deny drilling permits for the additional 18 fracking wells at the Coyote Pad!  (ARTICLE HERE) This amazingly good result shows why it is SO important for the public to speak out and keep sending comments to Colorado’s O&G regulators and to our elected officials.  ACTIVISM WORKS!  


Send comment to ECMC today!  Tell regulators that the proposed Draco Pad is too close to homes, schools, parks and farms.  Remind them that drilling these new wells in the exact place where there are already so many abandoned wells and directional wellbores is a terrible idea because the high pressures used while fracking can cause ruptures, leaks and explosions of the old wells.  Here’s how to send your comment:

  • Type in Docket #: 240100004 (be patient while it loads)
  • Type in your name and email
  •  Attach your comment as a file (use our talking points or write your own letter)
  • Click the “submit” button


Even though the ECMC has halted the new 18 wells at the Coyote site, we predict that the operator will re-file the paper work.  In the meantime, keep up the pressure:

  1. Send comment to ECMC (use our sample letter or write your own).  Please refer to Docket #:230900287
  2. Send one-click email to Erie and Broomfield area lawmakers showing them how much we don’t want any more neighborhood fracking.  Public outcry will encourage them to stand up for residents: 


Join the Flatiron Meadows O&G Monitoring Facebook group to stay up-to-date on developments and how you can stay involved.  HERE


The 26 new wells proposed to be drilled from the Draco pad would extend over 5 miles west from Erie’s Crestone O&G Gathering and Processing Hub into Boulder County.  Civitas O&G company is asking for exceptions to state laws because the Draco project will violate the following rules:  5 existing homes, 6 water wells, an irrigation ditch, 4 ponds, 6 old plugged/shut in wells and the 11 Windsock active fracking wells are within the 2000 ft setback distance.  The Draco wellbores will also tunnel under two landfills.  In addition, homes in the planned Westerly neighborhood and the new Middle School will be closer than the 2000 ft setback distance.  

The proposed Draco underground wellbores would intersect and overlap existing horizontal wellbores at the nearby Pratt and Waste Connections fracking sites in addition to crossing many older vertical wells.  This likely interference between multiple wells in the same location is very dangerous and is made worse by the extremely high pressures created by fracking which can cause rupture of nearby wells, underground leaks and surface explosions.

Westerly home and Draco overlap map


In 2017, 45 fracking wells were approved for the Coyote pad and to date, 27 wells were drilled.  Now, Extraction Oil and Gas company is applying to drill 18 new wells.  In yet another example of O&G’s dirty tricks, Extraction attempted to prevent Erie and Broomfield governments from testifying against the project at the 1/24/24 ECMC hearing.

The good news is, we think we may be able to stop these new wells because a lot has changed since the original permit was approved: Colorado’s O&G regulations have been strengthened, more homes have been built in the Coyote Pad area, there is now a 2000 ft setback for new drilling and even more examples of climate catastrophes have happened and are at the forefront of Coloradans’ minds.  So we should have a better chance of preventing this expansion of neighborhood fracking.

1/24/24 UPDATE:  the ECMC voted 4 to 1 to deny drilling permits for the additional 18 fracking wells at Erie’s Coyote Pad!  (ARTICLE HERE) It is likely that the operator will re-submit paperwork for the Coyote permits, so keep sending comments to ECMC and your local elected officials (see above)! 

Above: Map showing Coyote Pad in proximity to homes, schools, parks, hospitals, grocery stores, farms and a  community center.

Above: Coyote Pad drilling rig looms over homes in Erie

Coyote Pad map

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”