Broomfield residents sue their city in attempt to push fracking away from homes

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BROOMFIELD, Colo. — In the latest battle over fracking in Broomfield, residents of the northern Denver suburb have filed suit against their local government. They’re hoping a judge will push fracking farther away from residential neighborhoods.

The suit claims, when Broomfield agreed to a new drilling plan with Extraction Oil and Gas, the city violated its own charter and an operator agreement.

“[Residents are] concerned about their water supply,” plaintiff attorney Dan Leftwich said. “They’re concerned about the environment. They’re concerned– most of all– about the health of their families.”

Leftwich says Broomfield agreed to a drilling plan with Extraction Oil and Gas before requiring the energy company to disclose, account for and mitigate risks associated with its operations.

“If you don’t have a solid risk analysis, it’s hard to really know what the risks are,” said Broomfield resident Kim McNaughton.

Residents like McNaughton say their city’s latest deal with Extraction violates a new addition to the city charter that is supposed to ensure oil and gas development won’t cause an adverse impact on the public health, safety and the environment.

The City and County of Broomfield released the following statement to FOX31 on Tuesday:

“The City and County of Broomfield was notified of a lawsuit filed by WildEarth Guardians, and Residents Rights on October 23, 2018. The City Attorney’s Office and City Manager’s Office are currently reviewing and analyzing the complaint. The City spent many months negotiating with Extraction Oil and Gas to include the most protective best management practices in Colorado in the Operator Agreement and implemented those in the Comprehensive Drilling Plan. The best management practices include measures to protect public health, safety and welfare consistent with Broomfield’s Charter and well beyond anything provided in State law.” – Anne Lane, Broomfield Director of Communications and Governmental Affairs.

Extraction, while not named as a defendant in the suit, has been served the suit as an interested party. FOX31 emailed Extraction for comment but did not receive a response.

Broomfield has just under three weeks to respond to the suit.

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