Daily Camera (Boulder)

Don’t let it get too close

- Ecology · Energy · Industries · Oil and Gas Mining · Mining · Colorado · Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen · Mayor of Longmont, Colorado · Fracking

The Colorado Oil and Gas Con­ser­va­tion Com­mis­sion has one job: pro­tect liv­ing things from the harm­ful ef­fects of oil and gas drilling. And yet it can’t man­age to keep frack­ing away from us. This time, it has failed to re­quire a safe dis­tance be­tween frack­ing and our com­mu­ni­ties, and even pro­vided a loop­hole to let oil and gas com­pa­nies in.

The dan­gers of frack­ing in­clude toxic emis­sions and con­tam­i­nated air, water, and soil, which bring long-term health im­pacts, and seis­mic ac­tiv­ity.

These ef­fects only be­come more se­vere the closer frack­ing sites are to hu­mans and wildlife, so the sen­si­ble thing to do is push frack­ing as far away as pos­si­ble.

Let’s say you and I are ene­mies. If you had proof that I could throw a rot­ten tomato over my back fence, it would be stupid of you to stand any­where in my back yard, or even at my fence line.

In fact, even though the only unit of mea­sure­ment pro­vided is the fence, you still wouldn’t stand di­rectly be­hind it, you’d take a pre­cau­tion and stand a lit­tle ways back. Just be­cause you can’t see beyond the fence at the mo­ment doesn’t mean the rot­ten tomato isn’t sail­ing far into the next yard.

Why is the COGCC mak­ing us stand at the fence line?

There is no room for doubt. The Colorado Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health and En­vi­ron­ment has stud­ied im­pacts of frack­ing up to a dis­tance of 2,000 feet. At 2,000 feet, it found neg­a­tive health ef­fects on hu­mans and wildlife.

The COGCC’S set­back re­quire­ment for frack­ing sites? Two thou­sand feet. It’s not far enough to keep us safe. Please, tell the COGCC that no sen­si­ble per­son would stand at the dis­tance proven to be un­safe, and we need a clear set­back, no loop­holes, at least 2,500 feet back.

KATIE ORTON Long­mont

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