(March 23) – Rep. Mike Foote’s bill to increase the margin of safety for students and teachers at schools in oil country won approval tonight from the House Health, Insurance & Environment Committee
HB17-1256 would specify that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s 1,000-foot rule on oil and gas drilling setbacks from schools would apply to the entire campus, including ballfields and playgrounds, not just the buildings. Existing wells and permitted sites would not be affected.
“It just doesn’t make any sense to put something that can explode a couple hundred feet away from a playground,” Rep. Foote, D-Lafayette, told the committee.
Dozens of witnesses noted the recent history of spills, leaks blasts and fires at oil and gas sites in Colorado and testified about concerns for the health and safety of people living – or going to school – near oil and gas operations.
The HIE Committee voted 6-5, on party lines, to send the bill to the House floor.