Colorado School District Battles Anadarko

by Elizabeth Alford on February 15, 2016

A drilling rights issue threatens to halt construction of a new elementary school in Colorado.

Related: Setbacks are only a starting point

The Boulder Valley School District is working to reach an agreement with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. over oil and gas drilling rights on an adjacent property new K-8th grade school. The district wants the company to relinquish the surface use rights they hold or agree to only access oil and gas through horizontal drilling.

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGC) have rules that require a 1,000 foot setback from high occupancy buildings that can include a school. But the proposed school site is too small to accommodate a 1,000 foot setback, which could prevent the school district from objecting to any wells Anadarko might want to drill in the future.

“Boulder Valley School District is working with the developer of Flatiron Meadows, Anadarko and Town of Erie administrators in an effort to reach an agreement so the school can be constructed on the site and open August 2017. We are doing everything possible to secure agreements necessary to build on the school site,” stated Superintendent Bruce Messinger. 

If an agreement isn’t reached, the school’s opening could be delayed by at lest a year since the district would essentially be starting over.


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