Fracking forum in Broomfield attracts hundreds

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BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- A concert venue in Broomfield was one of the few places large enough to accommodate the number of people outraged over new fracking sites popping up in the city and elsewhere along the Front Range.

The forum, held at the 1st Bank Center on Tuesday night, was the City and County of Broomfield's effort to see where fracking improvements can be made as Colorado's oil and natural gas industry expands.

"We don't have a voice, period," said one of the frustrated attendees.

Even people from outside Broomfield who have seen issues in their communities were at the venue to make sure careful planning is behind proposed fracking sites in suburban areas.

The sites have homeowners worried about large privacy walls, noisy drilling and air quality.

Ed Young lives in a Broomfield subdivision for senior citizens. He's concerned more trucks coming and going from future fracking sites will create more traffic and safety problems for his senior-living community.

"Are we going to be able to get ambulances in out of this community where they frequently do come?" Young asked.

Broomfield is considering a six-month ban on energy development, which is part of what Tuesday's forum was about. But energy industry leaders said there's no need for  a moratorium.

The company behind the proposed fracking, Extraction Oil and Gas, promised to use special rigs to make drilling quieter, use air quality equipment and spend $4 million on landscaping around fracking properties.

"Will they really do it? We don't know," said Young.

Residents in Broomfield and elsewhere said they want their local governments to hold energy companies to the promises that have been made.

No decision on a proposed fracking moratorium was made. Such a moratorium would impact the future of roughly 140 proposed Broomfield fracking sites in the area of Sheridan Parkway and Lowell Boulevard.

Broomfield leaders said they are working with energy companies in an attempt to limit noise and try to make fracking sites more visually appealing.