Oil and Gas wells considered high pollution risks weren't inspected

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DENVER (AP) Federal records show that more than 240 newly drilled oil and gas wells considered high pollution risks on Colorado public lands weren't inspected during a recent three-year period.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management data reviewed by The Associated Press show that almost 60 percent of the 420 high-priority wells went unexamined between fiscal year 2009 and 2012.

Nationwide, about 40% of 3,500 such wells weren't reviewed, underscoring the government's struggle to keep pace with America's drilling boom.

The BLM designates high-priority wells based on a greater need to protect against water contamination and other environmental safety issues.

A BLM spokeswoman in Colorado says budget cuts and the difficulty in recruiting and retaining inspectors are among the reasons for the backlog.

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