Drilling proposal near Denver's suburbs sparks health concerns

In Aurora, new oil and gas drilling plans near a Superfund site prompt community calls for stricter regulations and impact studies.

Jennifer Oldham reports for Capital & Main.


In short:

  • Civitas Energy revises drilling plans near a Denver Superfund site amid public health worries.
  • Arapahoe County responds with tighter oil and gas regulations, emphasizing increased setbacks and environmental health.
  • Legal and conservation groups demand comprehensive impact studies on local seismic activity and reservoir safety.

Key quote:

"The county must insist on studies to understand the potential risks associated with fracking-induced seismicity on both the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site — and the Aurora Reservoir Dam."

— Kevin Lynch, associate professor of law, University of Denver Environmental Law Clinic

Why this matters:

Residents living near oil and drilling operations may experience increased risks of respiratory problems, birth defects, and other health problems due to exposure to air and water pollutants. Chemicals used in drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) processes can release volatile organic compounds, benzene, and other harmful substances into the air and water supply.

Be sure to read this piece by Huanjia Zhang: "For many years, communities have been complaining about how oil drilling in their neighborhoods is harmful. Now we have numbers to back that up."

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