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Colorado set to adopt new oil and gas drilling regs

Oil and gas drilling near schools and homes in Firestone, Colorado. Photo courtesy Shane Davis, Sierra Club, Rocky Mountain Chapter.

Oil and gas drilling near schools and homes in Firestone, Colorado. Photo courtesy Shane Davis, Sierra Club, Rocky Mountain Chapter.

Setbacks, monitoring and mitigation at issue in proposed rules

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — On the last day of 2012, state regulators unveiled their latest proposal to protect communities from oil and gas drilling impacts, including 500-foot setbacks in rural and urban areas, as well as new requirements for outreach and mitigation.

The rules are aimed at forestalling a groundswell of opposition to fracking in residential areas, but the proposal may be a classic case of too little, to late, as communities around the state consider outright bans on fracking.

The draft rules are based on months of stakeholder meetings and public participation, including nearly a year of presentations and comment on the issue of how best to balance energy production with the need to minimize impacts on residences from nearby oil and gas development. Continue reading

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