New drilling rules adopted in Colorado for safety setbacks


Because of new health tests showing increased risk of benzene exposure, the state of Colorado has increased the distance that oil and gas exploration firms can drill close to homes and businesses.

The report came from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and found the increased dangers within 2,000 feet of drill sites. Current state law prohibits the drilling of such well sites closer than 500 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from schools, health care centers and high-occupancy buildings.

The state study focused on well pads that were in pre-production and included drilling, fracking and flowback.  Pads that were not in production of oil and gas were not part of the study.

As a result of the findings, the head of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission announced the group would “immediately enact stricter and safer precautionary review measures to protect public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife.”