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Colorado Oil, Gas Regulators Complete New Draft Rules

Jan 2, 2013
(AP)

A new draft of drilling regulations released by Colorado oil and gas regulators Monday would boost the minimum distance between wells and buildings to 500 feet, up from the 350 feet buffer it had floated earlier this year.

That's raising concerns from not just energy companies but also the real estate and agriculture industries, among others.

Homebuilders and farmers are among those pushing for a smaller distance, or setback, while some environmental groups and residents concerned about potential health effects of being near rigs are seeking larger setbacks.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said the draft rules also would make the state the only one to require sampling of water wells near drilling sites both before and after drilling to show whether drinking water aquifers have been tainted. They also would require more mitigation measures for drilling within 1,000 feet of homes.