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Lawmakers raise concerns about fracking

In an opinion piece published in the Denver Post, two state lawmakers criticize a proposal before the Colorado legislature that would regulate the controversial process of natural gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

State Senator Morgan Carroll and State Representative Rhonda Fields take issue with a provision to set the minimum distance between drilling rigs and homes at 350 feet, arguing that the distance should be a minimum of 1,000 feet.

Fracking involved pumping chemically-treated water underground to break up subterranean rock formations and release natural gases. Drilling operations employ the method along the Marcellus Shale – a gas-rich underground rock formation that extends into New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Opponents have raised concerns about fracking’s environmental effects.

Carroll and Fields cite some of those concerns in their piece, stating: “Drilling and fracking are major industrial operations. Chemicals are pumped into the ground and toxic liquids, laden with heavy metals and cancer-causing compounds, are extracted from deep within the earth. Noxious gases are emitted. Scores of giant trucks move on and off fracking sites. Diesel generators run day and night to power the operations.”

They suggest several measures to protect residents from the potential environmental hazards of fracking, including:

  • Maximizing the buffer between industrial sites and homes to ensure public health and safety, taking into account that new technology allows developers to extract deposits as far as 9,000 feet from drilling sites.
  • Minimizing toxic emissions.
  • Giving affect citizens have a voice in decisions about where to locate and how to manage drilling and fracking.

Lopez McHugh is investigating injuries related to natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale natural gas reserve. If you have significant injuries, contact a Lopez McHugh attorney for a free evaluation.

See the piece here: