While Broomfield has concluded numerous court cases that were linked to its contentious Nov. 5 polls, the city foresees further lawsuits over its ban on hydraulic fracturing after a judge ruled that the ban is still in place.
Broomfield battled four court cases since the November polls over how it conducted its election that saw it ban fracking with a mere 20 votes.
Most of the lawsuits have either been resolved or are expected to be concluded soon, though city and county attorney Bill Tuthill expects energy firm Sovereign to file a lawsuit as the fracking ban is now official.
“I’m confident that there will be activity in the legal arena with Sovereign anywhere from a month to six weeks from now,” said Tuthill last week.
Broomfield contains 97 active wells, though companies that operate the wells such as Sovereign, Anadarko and Encana haven’t re-fracked the sites since summer 2013.
Sovereign, which had planned to frack several new wells to complement the existing ones, will not be able to do so owing to the ban. When contacted by Broomfield Enterprise, Sovereign’s chief operating officer Tom Metzger was unavailable.
Last August, Sovereign entered into a memorandum of understanding with the city that would allow the company to sink 21 wells in four locations, as long as it adhered to 35 Broomfield’s new, strict oil and gas drilling standards.
In one of the cases concluded last February, the judge validated the results of the poll that was opposed by fracking activists Too, It’s Our Broomfield and the Broomfield Balanced Energy Coalition. The groups had 20 days to file an appeal, which elapsed before they did.
“We didn’t have the appetite for it,” said Tom Cave of It’s Our Broomfield when asked why no appeal was filed.
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