by Bob Berwyn
Summit County Citizens Voice
“We don’t want our communities to become yet another industrial sacrifice zone.”
The commissioners this week voted to adopt new regulations following a boisterous public hearing, but those might not be tough enough. Dozens of residents expressed concerns that the regulations don’t go far enough to protect citizens from the harmful effects of natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
“These regulations may have been the best in Colorado in 1997, but are they adequate in 2011 to protect citizens from fracking in a high risk geological environment for drilling like Huerfano County?” said Sandy Borthick, a member of Citizens for Huerfano County, a recently formed 400-member group.
Huerfano County initially adopted the regulations in 2009 after Coal Bed Methane drilling caused widespread problems including explosions, contaminated drinking wells, water depletions and decimation of a local dairy farm.
At the time the commissioners titled the regulations to only apply to CBM. According to County Planner Steve Channel, the BOCC didn’t want to apply the regulations to “deeper drilling that had been operating for years in the county without incident.” Those drilling operations included several natural gas wells and a large CO2 gas well complex.
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