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U.K. firm drops plan to drill under Rocky Flats through Superior following immense pushback

Highlands Natural Resources' wanted 31 wells originating from the corner of Colorado 128 and McCaslin Boulevard

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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The U.K. company also appears to have withdrawn a second plan to drill under Rocky Flats.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also is listed as “on hold” by COGCC, but town officials said they expect that status to soon be updated to “withdrawn.”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.


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