Judge Refused Stay on Fort Collins Fracking Ban Decision



A Larimer County judge denied a request from the city of Fort Collins, CO to stay a decision that overturned the city’s fracking ban while the city appeals the case. Ft. Collins’ ban would have prohibited fracking within city limits for five years in order to complete a study on the potential health impacts of the practice. Eighth Judicial District Judge Gregory Lammons ruled in August that Ft. Collin’s “five-year ban substantially impedes the state’s significant interest in oil and gas development and production” and that “a local regulation that conflicts with state law on an issue of mixed local and state concern must fail.”

From the Coloradoan:

The citizen-initiated ordinance, which voters passed in November 2013, was overturned after the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) filed a lawsuit in Larimer County District Court. The moratorium would have stopped new wells from being fracked within city limits for five years, while the city performed a study on the health impacts of fracking.

Calling it a, “legal win,” the Colorado Oil & Gas Association said Lammons’ ruling overturning the city’s fracking ban specifically did not stay his order pending appeal, “meaning that the order was to remain in place through whatever appeals may be filed.”

Three municipal fracking restrictions — including Fort Collins’ — have been overturned by Colorado courts in the past four months, according to COGA. A judge upheld COGA’s request to dismiss a fracking ban in Longmont in July and, in August, that same judge ruled Lafayette’s fracking ban violated state law.

 

A blue ribbon task force assembled by newly-re-elected Governor John Hickenlooper is expected to deliver recommendations to the Colorado State Assembly regarding the interaction of state and local fracking regulations by February 2015.