Colorado oil and gas well setback fight headed to state legislature

Colorado Oil and Gas Commission

Colorado Oil and Gas Commission

By Mark Jaffe – The Denver Post – February 11, 2013

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved 500-foot buffers between new wells and homes on Monday, but the state legislature may have a final say on the issue.

The oil and gas industry opposed the new setback, which will replace a 350-foot rule for urban areas and 150 feet for rural areas. Environmental and community groups called for a 1,000-foot setback, and said they will push for legislation.

“Undoubtedly, this decision will go under the dome,” said Mike King, executive director of state Department of Natural Resources and a commission member. King said he was “comfortable” with the rule and that the legislators would see how contentious an issue setbacks are.

House Majority Leader, Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, issued a statement saying the rules “fall far short of protecting Coloradans.”

“As the State legislature continues its work this session, my colleagues and I will be looking to pursue measures that put the health and safety of Coloradans first,” Hullinghorst said.

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