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Morning Brief: Counties and Cities Ask Colorado Supreme Court to Protect Public Health and Safety

A diverse set of communities has filed an amicus brief arguing that the COGCC should prioritize public health and safety when it considers rules related to oil and gas development.
Oil Worker
Source: Pexel

This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

A diverse set of communities has filed an amicus brief arguing that the COGCC should prioritize public health and safety when it considers rules related to oil and gas development. 

The Colorado Supreme Court issued an order on May 30 accepting a brief filed by 15 Colorado counties and cities in Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission v. Martinez.

The amicus brief includes legal arguments supporting the position that the COGCC should prioritize public health and safety when it considers rules related to oil and gas development.

Community partners who came together to file the brief represent diverse geographic, political, and population characteristics of Colorado, and include:

  • Boulder County
  • City of Boulder
  • City and County of Broomfield
  • City of Commerce City
  • Eagle County
  • Town of Erie
  • City of Ft. Collins
  • Gunnison County
  • City of Lafayette
  • City of Longmont
  • City of Louisville
  • Pitkin County
  • San Miguel County
  • Summit County
  • City of Westminster

“Our residents are very concerned with the potential health effects of oil and gas development,” said Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones. “The COGCC is telling the Supreme Court that it does not have to make the protection of public health and safety its primary responsibility. That is not only wrong—it’s dangerous.”

According to COGCC records, over 2,700 reported spills have occurred within the last five years. At least twelve explosions and fires have occurred at oil and gas well sites within the last year, in addition to the Firestone tragedy that claimed two lives.

“It is significant that so many diverse local governments across Colorado have come together to file this amicus brief,” said Sharon Tessier, Broomfield City Councilwoman. “Our communities are being impacted by residential oil and gas development and we believe the outcome of this case will provide us with guidance on how much longer and harder we need to fight to create the equity for our residents around health, safety, and welfare.”

Since the COGCC filed its appeal on May 17, 2017, the number of active oil and gas wells in Colorado has increased nearly 6% – from 51,711 active wells one year ago to 54,811 today.

The primary argument in the local government amicus brief is that protection of public health, safety, and welfare should be the primary role of government, including the COGCC.

"The notion that the COGCC should prioritize public health, safety and welfare in reviewing oil and gas development is hardly novel and frankly is just good common sense,” said John Messner, Gunnison County Commissioner. “Cities and counties throughout Colorado have regulations for land use decisions that protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens, and these regulations have not negatively impacted development. If anything they have improved it."

“We hope the Court seriously considers our argument,” said City of Lafayette Mayor Christine Berg. “As we said in the brief, the primary duty of the COGCC is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, not to balance it against the desire of for-profit corporations.”

This is a press release from the Boulder County Commissioners published by the Longmont Observer as a public service. 

Medtronic and Google employees volunteer at "I Have A Dream's" summer programming at STEAM-themed conference

"I Have A Dream" Foundation of Boulder County will hold its annual Dreamer Conference on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette. This day-long event brings together Dreamer Scholars (elementary, middle, and high school-aged youth) from all 10 of "I Have A Dream"'s program sites. 300 Dreamer Scholars from Boulder, Lafayette, Longmont and Carbon Valley are expected to attend!  Community volunteers, including 60 from Medtronic and Google, will spend the day helping lead the workshops and activities.

Dreamer Scholars receive 10+ years of drop-out prevention and college and career preparation programming, and this annual conference allows them to come together to learn and have fun to kick off our summer programming! The theme of the conference this year is STEAM - Science/Sports, Tech, Engineering, Art and Music.

Morning workshops include hip hop music/dance, rap/slam poetry, tie dye, drawing, coding, virtual reality, intro to scuba, soccer, tennis, Zumba, theater, spray paint, robotics, cooking, board games, basketball, relay races and volleyball.

Afternoon activities include carnival games, opportunities to "pie" a Program Director, a dunk tank, and more!

What: 2018 "I Have A Dream" Dreamer ConferenceWhenThursday, June 7, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Where: Peak to Peak Charter School, 800 Merlin Drive, Lafayette, CO 80026

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES:  

Workshops 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. & Carnival 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Supported by: Peak to Peak Charter School, Medtronic, Google, Half Fast Subs, Building 61, Reality Garage

For more information about the conference, please call Ashley Keltner, 336-618-1307.

This is a press release from the I Have A Dream Foundation and is published by the Longmont Observer as a public service. 

Boulder County equipment testing completed for June 26 Primary Election

Ballots and equipment to be used in the county’s upcoming Primary Election passed a required Logic and Accuracy Test (LAT) held this week.

Representatives from the local Democratic and Republican parties took part in testing at the Boulder County Clerk & Recorder's Office and confirmed the equipment’s ability to properly read ballots and correctly tabulate votes.

The LAT also confirmed ballots are properly printed for the election and the equipment is accurately calibrated to process ballots. Each type of ballot and all ballot styles were tested. In all, 1,006 ballots were tested, including 956 mail ballots and 50 ballots generated using ballot marking devices.

Each piece of equipment used during the LAT has been cleared of test votes and reset to zero, ensuring the equipment is ready to count live ballots for the Primary Election.

Results and test records are available for review at BoulderCountyVotes.org under the Primary Election Information section.

Boulder County voters can also visit BoulderCountyVotes.org to register to vote, check and update their voter registration, view ballot content and learn more about local elections. They can also call 303-413-7740 for more information or visit one of three Boulder County Clerk & Recorder's Office branches: 1750 33rd St. in Boulder; 529 Coffman St. in Longmont; or 1376 Miners Drive in Lafayette. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

This is a press release from Boulder County Elections and is published by the Longmont Observer as a public service. 

Longmont Observer News:

Volunteer Position Available: The Longmont Observer has a volunteer position available to report on city council. City council meets most Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, located at 350 Kimbark St., Longmont. The requirements for this position include:

  • Must plan to attend all regular/study sessions of the Longmont City Council
  • Must be willing to write/take photos/record the session
  • Must meet fast-paced deadlines

The Longmont Observer will train you on how to write city council articles and how to run the video equipment for the meeting. To apply please send your name, contact information and a brief statement as to what interests you the most about this position to contactus@longmontobserver.org.

Editorial and Volunteer Meeting Information: The Longmont Observer holds open to the public editorial meetings every Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. in the conference room at TinkerMill, 1840 Deleware Pl., Longmont. 

Do you want to volunteer but can't make it to the 10 a.m. meeting? We hold a volunteer meeting every Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. in the TinkerMill conference room.