The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission voted unanimously on 18 December to approve bigger buffer zones for oil and gas drilling near schools.
New wells will have to be at least 1,000 ft from school buildings and childcare centers as well as outdoor areas used by schools, including sports fields and playgrounds. It’s the areas around the building that the policy change takes into account. The old regulation required a 1,000-ft setback from the building itself, which meant wells could be closer to playgrounds and other school outdoor facilities.
The new setback will take effect on 30 January.
The vote comes 6 weeks after Colorado voters rejected Proposition 112, a ballot proposal that would have required a buffer of 2,500 ft between wells and occupied buildings as well as areas described as vulnerable. Those included parks, creeks, and irrigation ditches.
Read the full story here.
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