Colo. sketches out proposed oil, gas setback rules

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DENVER (AP) -- The director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission says it's time to consider statewide rules on baseline groundwater sampling and monitoring at new well pads, which could show when drilling operations have contaminated groundwater supplies and when they haven't.

The state has been holding meetings with oil and gas industry representatives, community leaders, environmental groups and other stakeholders to discuss revising the state's so-called "setback" rules on how far wells must be from buildings.

On Friday, commission director Matt Lepore emailed stakeholders an early outline of suggested revisions. The outline includes the water sampling proposal but also a proposed requirement for a public hearing and commission approval before wellheads can be placed within 750 feet of schools or hospitals.

Lepore says there's much more discussion to come.

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