Region’s residents air concerns over drilling to state commission

RIFLE — Western Colorado residents told state oil and gas regulators today that their revised rules still fall short of protecting people from the impacts of drilling.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission met in Rifle today, and residents took advantage of the visit to voice concerns about the possible impacts of several new drilling projects and plans in Garfield and Mesa counties.

Residents say the new rules continue to result in neighbors not being notified of planned drilling, and they are concerned that the drilling will result in the kind of air and water pollution and other impacts that have occurred elsewhere in the region.

“To be honest, most of these people didn’t have any idea of what was hitting them in the face and now they know and they’re not happy,” rural New Castle resident Tara Meixsell said of the drilling Antero Resources has begun north of Interstate 70 near Silt and New Castle.

Silt Mesa resident Beth Strudley said she has dealt with constant truck traffic and the “towering inferno” of a nearby Antero well that is being flared.

Battlement Mesa residents want the state commission to heed a new study’s draft conclusions pointing to possible health impacts of Antero’s proposal to drill up to 200 wells in their community.


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