© AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post
State regulators and Greeley officials have allowed more than 425 wells inside Greeley, including these near Northridge High School. Mineral Resources has withdrawn its application to drill near Frontier Academy.
An oil and gas industry proposal to drill 19 wells within 900 feet of an elementary school in Greeley ignited such parent fury that company officials on Monday backed down.
Mineral Resources Inc. officials said withdrawing their application to drill by the Frontier Academy school is an example of listening to community concerns.
They made their decision as state regulators are investigating recent fires and explosions at industry storage tanks northeast of Denver - including one last week near a different elementary school.
"We're grateful. Now our children are safe," said Trisha Golding, head of the Frontier Parents' Group, who pressed their case Thursday with Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission director Matt Lepore.
"And we're not going to rest until this city and schools make sure this doesn't happen again behind our school or any other school," Golding said.
The showdown began this month when parents found out about the project. Colorado last year made a rule requiring 1,000-foot buffer zones around schools and hospitals.
But Mineral Resources had proposed drilling 19 to 67 wells as close as 478 feet from the school's playground, 828 feet from the building
, before the rule. The COGCC granted initial approval in May 2013.
Last week, an oil storage tank fire in Frederick, about 1,800 feet from Legacy Elementary, put teachers and students on orders to "shelter in place."