Reverse Setbacks
in Erie,CO

Dear Erie Board of Trustees,  

As residents of Erie, Colorado, we are concerned about the health consequences of oil & gas operations in our community. Exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are irrefutably linked to increased risk for asthma, low birth weight, cancer, cardiac problems, and other respiratory issues. Residents living near oil & gas operations routinely suffer headaches, respiratory issues, anxiety, and nose bleeds in addition to the nuisances of noise, odor, and increased traffic. Because current air quality standards set forth by the CDPHE are insufficient to protect our health, safety, and welfare, we need to act boldly on behalf of our community. 

Existing homeowners are already suffering, new homebuyers should not unknowingly be subjected to the same fate. We urge you to pass the most protective reverse setbacks being proposed, including:

  • a minimum 2,000ft setback for new development away from wells that have been approved by the COGCC but are not yet constructed;
  • a minimum 500ft setback for new development from existing wells;
  • a minimum of 250ft for plugged and abandoned (P&A) wells; 
  • a minimum of 150ft setbacks for new streets to existing O&G; 
  • a minimum of 50ft setback from flowlines and gathering lines.

Additionally, it is vital that potential homebuyers are given notice of O&G facilities/infrastructure/P&A wells within 2,000′ of a property 30 days prior to closing on their property.

On August 27, 2021, a methane leak north of Soaring Heights and Erie High school was reported to the COGCC. There are 192 P&A wells in Erie, all subject to methane leaks. The Town nor industry has the resources to actively monitor them all, so we need a protective setback. We don’t want to see a tragic incident happen in our community, and we can’t trust the industry to look out for our safety. 

We demand the Town of Erie Board of Trustees adopt the strongest setbacks possible. As elected Trustees, you are responsible for the health and safety of Erie’s residents, and we hope you will take your responsibility seriously.

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