Colorado: Battle lines drawn over fracking setbacks

Oil and gas drilling near schools and homes in Firestone, Colorado. Photo courtesy Shane Davis, Sierra Club, Rocky Mountain Chapter. Please click on the image to learn more.

Conservation advocates want 1,000-foot buffer that offers ‘presumptive protection’

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — With no end in sight to Colorado’s fracking boom, state officials are preparing to publish new rules on setbacks and groundwater monitoring — but those rules don’t do enough to protect the health and welfare of residents near gas drilling sites, according to a coalition of conservation groups.

“The state’s proposed change to minimum distances between fracking and homes is to keep current policy virtually unchanged,” said Charlie Montgomery, energy organizer of Conservation Colorado. “The current separation in urban and suburban areas is 350 feet.  The state’s proposed separation is 350 feet.”

State officials say they’ve been meeting with stakeholders for several months to develop the proposed new rules. Documents from the stakeholder process are online here. Continue reading

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