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Air Emissions From Oil and Gas Wells Health Risks Analyzed – More Study Needed

About the only thing that stakeholders agree on is that the risk assessment saga in Colorado means one thing – more study is needed. On March 27, 2018, the latest in a series of health risk studies was published by the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Medical Campus. Using air emissions data taken from within the 500 foot regulatory setback requirement for homes near wells, the study concludes that people living in close proximity to oil and gas wells are subject to an increased risk of developing cancer.

Dr. Larry Wolk, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) responded to the report: “This report underscores the potential public health importance of the 500-foot setback and the need to collect more comprehensive air quality data in communities in close proximity to oil and gas operations.”

The recent study contradicts the agency’s first large-scale review of research on the issues which concluded a year earlier in February 2017 that there is limited evidence of health risks for those living near oil and gas wells.

February 21, 2017 study: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0tmPQ67k3NVVFc1TFg1eDhMMjQ/view

March 27, 2018 study: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.7b05983

January 2014 study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24474681

This post was drafted by John Watson, an attorney in the Denver, CO office of Spencer Fane LLP. For more information, visit spencerfane.com.