• Original Reporting
  • Sources Cited
Original Reporting This article contains new, firsthand information uncovered by its reporter(s). This includes directly interviewing sources and research / analysis of primary source documents.
Sources Cited As a news piece, this article cites verifiable, third-party sources which have all been thoroughly fact-checked and deemed credible by the Newsroom in accordance with the Civil Constitution.
In this Oct. 13, 2005, file photo, deer cross a road striped of its asphalt at the former Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons plant near Golden, Colo. (Ed Andrieski, AP File photo)

United Kingdom-based Highlands Natural Resources has dropped its proposal to drill 31 wells into Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge from Superior following immense community pushback on the plan Monday night.

“The town has been informed by the Highlands Natural Resources Corporation that they are withdrawing all applications for the Superior site including drilling and spacing permits,” the Boulder County town posted on its website Tuesday.

Superior’s board of trustees on Monday was edging toward approving a six-month drilling moratorium and purchasing the proposed Highlands drill site for public open space in order to stop the project.

MORE: Superior weighs drilling moratorium, open space purchase to stop U.K. company’s Rocky Flats plan

The U.K. company also appears to have withdrawn a second plan to drill under Rocky Flats.

According to an application filed on Oct. 30, which Tuesday afternoon was listed as “on hold” by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Highlands proposed to drill 28 wells from the east side of Colorado 93 in an area it says is considered a critical wildlife area for deer and elk. The drill site is about 21 feet from a pond, according to the application.

The Daily Camera in Boulder first reported the withdrawal of the Superior site. That application also is listed as “on hold” by COGCC, but town officials said they expect that status to soon be updated to “withdrawn.”

The withdrawal by Highlands continues what’s been a whirlwind two weeks for the company, which last week pulled applications to drill 14 wells under Standley Lake, which provides drinking water to about 300,000 people, and 14 wells north of the lake, under the Westminster Hills Off-Leash Dog Park.

The Standley Lake proposal drew similar backlash to the Superior plans.


The Colorado Sun — Desk: 720-432-2229 Jesse Paul is a political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is...