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Colorado Oil & Gas Ass'n v. City of Thornton

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20067
Nos. 2017 CV 31640, (Colo. Dist. Ct., 04/24/2018)

A Colorado court, on motions for summary judgment, held that state and federal law preempt portions of a city ordinance concerning the regulation of oil and gas development within its boundaries. The provisions for minimum setbacks prohibit what state regulations would allow. As such, they are preempted and void. Similarly, federal law preempts ordinance provisions concerning minimum standards for oil and gas gathering pipelines. But because it is unclear which state standards relate to site disturbances, the court was unable to determine whether state law preempts provisions concerning well consolidation and surface/site conditions. It therefore denied summary judgment on this claim.