Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rep. Jared Polis hears from Boulder County constituents concerned about fracking

By John Fryar Longmont Times-Call 

LONGMONT -- Several eastern Boulder County residents upset by the oil and gas wells being drilled hundreds of feet away from their doorsteps got a sympathetic ear from U.S. Rep. Jared Polis on Wednesday afternoon.

Local, state and federal levels of government should all have roles in protecting people from the potential environmental and health risks of drilling, Boulder Democrat Polis said during a visit to a 2.7-acre farmstead southeast of Longmont, on East Boulder County Line Road.

"This was a dream for my family," said Rod Brueske, who bought that onetime Boulder County open space property for $195,000 and took possession of it last May.

Brueske said that with existing wells in his neighborhood, and new wells being drilled across the road, in Weld County -- along with those that Brueske fears may proliferate on the farmland now surrounding his property -- that dream is threatening to turn into a nightmare.

He said that besides having "a long-term health concern for my family" about the air and water hazards from wells, "our property values have been canned."

If that's not enough, Brueske said, he charged that the fleets of heavy trucks conveying fluids and equipment used in hydraulic fracturing -- injecting those fluids to free up deep underground oil and gas deposits -- are destroying East County Line Road and other rural roads in the area.

Brueske and several of his neighbors complained to the congressman that they'd gotten little notice, if any, before drilling began.

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