"This potentially could be devastating," Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway said.
He says the rules will hurt industry and agriculture in the county. Conway says the impact could be roughly $250 million in property tax revenue every year.
"Existing setback standards of 150 feet in rural areas and 350 feet in urban areas are extended to a uniform 500 feet statewide," reads a press release from the State of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Conway points to the Leprino Cheese Plant in Greeley, which brought 350 direct jobs and was the largest private sector investment in Greeley's history when it opened recently.
Under the new setback rules, he says, Leprino would have had issues because of three wells on its property - all within 500 feet.
"Leprino could not have built its facility where it is now," Conway said. "Now, what kind of impact would that have on the city of Greeley in terms of the new jobs and all the things that we're championing?"
Last year, Conway says 2,200 wells were drilled in Weld County. He says a "one size fits all" rule for setbacks isn't fair.
For example, he says Boulder County drilled about 25 wells last year.
"This has been as contentious and complicated an issue as the state oil and gas commission has ever dealt with," Todd Hartman, spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, said.
He says during this discussion, which has lasted years, some groups even wanted the setback rule to extend to 2,000 feet.
Hartman says what was approved on Wednesday night will need final approval in a couple of weeks but it's likely the setback number won't change.