From The Durango Herald (Emery Cowan):
“Shale oil and shale gas are game-changers for energy balance in this world,” Lepore said. “But we need to approach it like we have one shot at this to do it right.”
The commission is the furthest ahead in work to create revised setback distances for natural-gas and oil wells. A stakeholder group that includes representatives from industry, an environmental group, local government and state government has met for the last seven months about the issue. The group has yet to make much tangible progress on the issue, however, and it still is seeking proposals.
The group is aiming to adopt a proposal by Sept. 14 that could be approved by commissioners later this year and implemented early next year. Lepore admitted it was an aggressive schedule. “We’ve spent seven months talking to stakeholders, it’s time to get something out there,” he said.
Current COGCC setback rules require drilling operations to be 150 feet from the property owner’s structure in all but high-density areas, where the setback is 350 feet.