Crestone Peak Resources filed a lawsuit Thursday in Weld County seeking to have Erie’s newly enacted odor ordinance ruled unconstitutional.
The Denver-based oil and gas company was served its first violation of the code in early November, nearly two months after multiple residents complained of a diesel smell at the Pratt well pad.
“We’re seeking to have the court declare the ordinance unconstitutional, as the vague language on unquantifiable levels of odor makes ongoing compliance and enforcement impossible,” Crestone spokesman Jason Oates said. “The ordinance also is at odds with our legal right to work while in compliance with state regulations and within the requirements of our local operating agreement.”
The code approved in July by the Erie Board of Trustees makes it “unlawful and a public nuisance for any person, tenant, occupant or property owner to permit the emission of odor from any source to result in detectable odors that leave the premises and are detected by a reasonably prudent person with a normal sense of smell,” according to town documents.
In the lawsuit, Crestone alleges the ordinance is plainly directed at the company since a portion of residents have vocally opposed its oil and gas operations. Crestone operates about 200 wells in Erie, which is in both Boulder and Weld counties.
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