By Catherine Traywick
The shift in policy comes after a study commissioned by the state’s health department found heightened risk of benzene exposure within 2,000 feet of drill sites. Risk was highest during the flowback stage of the fracking process, when the mix of water and chemicals used to create fractures in the shale rock returns to the surface, according to the study.
BI: Political Roadblocks Ensure Rocky Road for DJ Basin-Exposed E&Ps
“The study indicates the potential for short-term health impacts” within the range of 2,000 feet, said Jeff Robbins, the acting director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. He said that 39 pending applications will be affected.
Voters in November rejected a ballot initiative that sought to impose a 2,500-foot buffer zone between drill sites and homes. Since then, the state has passed a sweeping overhaul of its oil and gas laws, giving local governments more power to regulate drilling.