Colo. oil, gas panel addresses new proposed rules

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DENVER (AP) -- The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will hold a hearing on proposed new rules for how far oil and natural gas wells should be from houses, schools and other buildings.

The commission will take comment on the rules Wednesday in Denver. It will also consider proposed rules for sampling and monitoring of groundwater near new wells.

Current rules generally say wells must be at least 150 feet away from buildings in rural areas, or 350 feet in high-density areas. One new proposal would require commission approval for wells within 750 feet of high-occupancy buildings like hospitals or schools.

Some environmental groups support keeping wells at least 1,000 feet back from buildings, but some farmers and ranchers say that could mean wells in the middle of their fields instead of closer to existing farm buildings.