DENVER (AP) -- Colorado regulators are letting more oil and gas companies that break rules do public service projects instead of imposing fines.
According to the Denver Post (http://tinyurl.com/lltu4t2 ), the shift is part of an effort by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to help communities harmed by the infractions.
The commission has signed off on 16 consent deals so far this year, compared with nine for all of last year.
One such deal involved a 84,000 gallon spill of toxic fluids in farmland north of Windsor. Rather than pay a $35,000 fine, PDC Energy agreed in May to train emergency responders in how to deal with oil spills. Windsor Severance Fire Rescue battalion chief Todd Voss said the training was "well-received."