In July 2018, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an executive order requiring that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission identify abandoned, or "orphaned," oil and gas sites across the state.
The commission has until July 2023 to either plug up or remove equipment at sites deemed “high priority,” based on risk factors including population density, impact on livestock/wildlife and history of venting or leaking.
The state identified 263 orphaned oil and gas wells that need to be plugged. In addition, there are about 100 more sites that used to house oil and gas operations and need to be restored, which can mean anything from bringing in new topsoil and planting native vegetation to cleaning up an actual spill.
Here’s a map of those locations, as of August 2018, organized by priority.
To find more information about a specific well or site, open this website, click “Facility,” paste the Location ID displayed in the map above into the “Facility/Location” field, and hit “Submit.”
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.