7:46am

Mon January 7, 2013
Oil and Gas

Colorado Oil And Gas Commission Considers New Fracking Rules

Colorado oil and gas regulators are beginning a three-day set of hearings starting Monday. The nine-member Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will discuss changes to ‘setback’ rules – the minimum distance required between drilling rigs and homes.

The proposed changes include requiring rigs to be farther away from buildings, especially when the building is a school, hospital or nursing home. The changes come as drilling has expanded in heavily populated areas along the Front Range.

The new setback rules face opposition from both sides of the hydraulic fracturing debate. Weld County commissioners oppose the changes, last week saying the decision should be left to local governments.

Anti-fracking activists in Boulder County tell the Huffington Post that the new setbacks don’t go far enough, and aren’t sufficient to protect public health.

Also on the agenda are new, more rigorous rules for testing groundwater.