Tell Gov. Hickenlooper to Keep Drilling & Fracking Away from Homes & Communities!

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is about to begin a rulemaking process on the distance between drill rigs and homes, schools, and other high-use buildings.

Unfortunately, the state has merely proposed maintaining the status quo – a 350 feet setback between homes and drilling.

Tell Gov. Hickenlooper and the COGCC to protect public health by keeping drilling and fracking away from communities:

  • Send an email to COGCC Director Matt Lepore at DNR_COGCC.Rulemaking@state.co.us.
  • Complete this online form to contact Gov. Hickenlooper – the Governor does not accept emails unless they are sent using this online form. To complete the form, select “Natural Resources” under Jurisdiction, then select “COGCC” under Topic. For the subject, enter “Setback Rulemaking.” You can copy and paste your email into the Explanation field.

You can use the sample email below, but be sure to add your own personal comments.

Click here for more information from COGCC on the proposed setback rule. The COGCC is also considering a mandatory groundwater baseline sampling rule. Click here for more information on the groundwater sampling rule.

Send your comments before the public hearing scheduled for Dec. 10th and 11th!

— Sample Letter Below —

Re: Setback Rulemaking

Dear Gov. Hickenlooper and Director Lepore:

I am deeply concerned about the current proposal put forth by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) regarding setbacks. I appreciate that the state recognizes the problems created by drilling in and near our communities, but the proposed solutions fall short.  The COGCC proposal still allows heavy industrial activity the same distance from homes as the existing standard that has proved inadequate for homeowners. Despite modest improvements, the State’s proposal leaves Coloradans at risk of serious public health impacts.

The COGCC must adhere to its mandate under Colorado law to protect “public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of the environment” (C.R.S. 34-60-102(1)(a)(I)). The current 350-foot setback is woefully inadequate in meeting this mandate. The rule must include a setback distance of 2,000 feet, plus an additional 100 feet per additional onsite wellbore near residences, schools, playgrounds/sports fields/parks, hospitals, nursing homes, and other similar facilities, due to the concentration of on-site emissions from aggregated wellbores.

A recent public health study found that residents living within ½-mile from oil and gas development are at a greater risk of health effects (McKenzie et. al. Human health risk assessment of air emissions from development of unconventional natural gas resources, Sci Total Environ (2012), doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.02.018).

Furthermore, the draft Battlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment’s preliminary findings were very troubling: “gas processes release chemicals that are known to impact health; chemicals emitted into the air from natural gas processes are more likely to impact health than chemicals released into the water or the soil; exposures from air emissions are likely to be highest during well completion activities; and residents living near a well pad (defined as within ½ mile) are more likely to experience health effects than residents living farther away from a well pad (defined as greater than ½ mile)” (Colorado School of Public Health. Draft Battlement Mesa HIA, Revision 1 ES-page II. February 2011).

Please take protective measures to fulfill your duty to protect the public health of Colorado citizens, and select a protective setback of at least 2,000 feet.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

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