Colorado regulators leaning toward enacting what could be the country’s biggest setbacks from oil, gas wells

A state commission has given preliminary approval to what could be the largest statewide setbacks for oil and gas wells in the country.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission voted Monday for 2,000-foot setbacks. A final vote on that rule and many others is expected in early November.

The COGCC said it believes the 2,000 feet of space that would be required between homes, schools and oil and gas wells would be the largest in the country.

However, the requirement comes with exceptions that could in practice result in shorter setbacks in certain cases, including when topography or technology can provide comparable protections at a shorter distance.

The setbacks and a first-of-its-kind emissions-monitoring rules for wells approved Sept. 23 by the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission are part of the implementation of Senate Bill 181. Both panels have been holding public hearings, meeting with interest groups and writing rules

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