City of Thornton News Release Logo For Immediate Release:   5/8/2017
Contact: Thornton Communications Director
Todd Barnes, 303-538-7279

Thornton City Council focuses on well site safety

THORNTON, CO… The recently disclosed conclusions of the investigation into the tragic home explosion that occurred in Thornton’s neighboring community of Firestone a few weeks ago has revealed several troubling issues that Thornton City Council believes need to be addressed. The safety of people living and working in Thornton is of primary concern for city council.

Although the state of Colorado has challenged the power of city governments to regulate safety measures when it comes to oil and gas operations, Thornton’s city council is directing city staff to work with state regulators and companies to ensure that well sites in Thornton are safe. Thornton’s City Council acknowledges and commends the oil and gas companies that have proactively suspended operations until these safety inspections are complete. The Thornton City Council is committed to pursuing all measures available to ensure that people who must coexist with this industrial activity can do so safely.

Specifically, Thornton staff will be tracking the recently announced State required well inspections in Thornton to ensure oil and gas facilities are functioning within all applicable State guidelines. In addition, Thornton has requested that this information be made available to the public. If it is not, Council will direct staff to post those inspection results for wells in Thornton on Thornton’s website so all residents will be able to see the results. In addition, City Council is in the process of updating regulations to further enhance safety standards for oil and gas development. 

Thornton’s City Council will be watching closely to see how the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) moves forward with safety measures to prevent such a future tragedy.

Thornton City Council sends out sincere condolences to the families of Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin who were killed in the explosion in Firestone – and hopes for recovery for those injured in the tragic event.