Oil and gas study raises concern

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A state-funded study of emissions from oil and gas development found the chemicals, including benzene and toluene, pose risks to human health.

While the study did not measure actual health effects for people who live close to oil and gas operations, it used modeling to predict how pollutants would move through the air. Researchers found that people who lived as far as 2,000 feet away from a well pad could face health effects including headaches, dizziness and respiratory problems.

“We will immediately enact stricter and safer precautionary review measures to protect public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife,” Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Director Jeff Robbins said in a statement responding to the study’s Oct. 17 release.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Petroleum Council questioned the study’s use of “modeled exposures” instead of “measured air quality data” and said rigorous standards are already in place to protect public health. 

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