Colo. drilling regulators mulling new water tests

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm •  Published: December 11, 2012

DENVER (AP) — Colorado gas-and-oil regulators are debating new rules for water quality and drilling near homes, which could determine whether state lawmakers propose stepping in to set their own rules.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is mulling a new rule to require water-quality testing before and after a well is drilled and hydraulically fractured.

The Durango Herald reported Tuesday that it will not make a final decision on water quality testing until January at the earliest (http://bit.ly/125GLpC ).

Commissioner DeAnn Craig, a petroleum engineer, said the state's existing rules on well construction are the best defense against groundwater contamination.

Craig said she was concerned the state was asking the gas industry to pay for water sampling that should be the responsibility of landowners or county governments. The water tests would cost $4 million to $6 million "for basically public service because we've established with the new rules the possibility of contamination is almost zero," Craig said.

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