According to the TEDX The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, many of the hundreds of chemicals used in oil and gas operations have been shown to have severe impacts on wildlife and human health, including the respiratory, digestive, immune, reproductive and nervous systems. A recent analysis of 353 of the 632 chemicals used during natural gas operations found that more than 75% of the chemicals could affect the skin, eyes, and other sensory organs, and the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Approximately 40-50% could affect the brain/nervous system, immune and cardiovascular systems, and the kidneys; 37% could affect the endocrine system; and 25% could cause cancer and mutations.
Unfortunately, 1,500- or 2,000-foot setbacks of wellheads, tanks and other equipment from property lines cannot ensure protection of precious groundwater, which spans these artificial lines, and therefore so can toxic fracking chemicals.
Why should any resident be subjected to fracking within sight or breath of businesses, schools or homes, when the danger is so clear and well documented?
By the Numbers
~78,000 wells across Colorado
Current State of Affairs
Current state regulations are failing to represent the will and best interests of the people. In 2015, 350 Colorado joined dozens of allied organizations to launch a statewide coalition calledColoradans Against Fracking to put a stop to dirty, dangerous fracking in our state. We are growing the movement to stop fracking in Colorado by educating thousands of Coloradans, holding our elected officials accountable, and pushing back against the oil and gas industry’s plans to place thousands of wells next to homes, schools, public parks and pristine areas in our state. Local communities like Longmont and Ft. Collins passed local bans and moratoria to protect themselves faced lawsuits, but in May of 2016 the CO Supreme Court ruled that the State has preemption over local communities and overturned the bans and moratoria. In 2016, people fought for 2 statewide ballot initiatives (75 and 78) to restrict fracking in Colorado by allowing local community control of fracking and increasing setbacks (buffer zones) from wells to homes, schools and waterways to 2500 feet. Industry spent millions of dollars fighting the initiatives, which despite receiving enough signatures to get on the ballot, had too many thrown out by the Secretary of State’s Office and thus failed to make the ballot. Industry was also the primary funder of ballot initiative 71 which made it far more expensive and difficult to pass ballot initiatives in the future. In March of 2017, in the Martinez vs. COGCC decision, the Colorado appeals court said that the state must protect health and environment before allowing oil and gas drilling, siding with Boulder teen Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and other youth plaintiffs, saying the protection of public health and the environment is “a condition that must be fulfilled”. On May 2, 2017, an Anadarko well which had an open gas line venting gas under a house in Firestone causing it to explode, killing two brothers-in-law and seriously injuring a mother and child. Later that month, after thousands of letters and calls were sent to the COGCC and Governor Hickenlooper from constituents asking them not appeal the Martineze v. COGCC decision, the Governor “rationalized that this position represented no change — public health and safety have always come first, don’t you know — and therefore the state did not need to appeal the ruling. The attorney general said nonsense and filed an appeal over the governor’s objection. Imagine that: a state official arguing against prioritizing public health and safety to continue feeding the insatiable industry that helps to fund her campaigns. So, once more, it is up to the Supreme Court.” (See this op ed for more of the back story.) The time has come for Coloradans to take a stand for the health and safety of our communities. This is our Colorado and we must preserve our right to protect our families, properties and way of life.
43% of all operator spills result in groundwater contamination.
3.1% of all operator spills result in surface water contamination.
57% of all protective berms fail to prevent secondary industrial liquid waste migration.
2003-2012 Weld County, CO – 1.7 million gallons of produced water and oil never recovered from the ground after operator spills. It’s still in the environment.
2.4 billion square feet of surface has been contaminated by 1,000 O&G surface spills. Study: 1,000 spills in Weld County, CO
Laramie-Fox Hills Aquifer was contaminated with toluene and thermogenic gas by an O&G operation in 2009 – Weld County, CO
Colorado has 129,073 Completed O&G wells. ~48,000 are active and ~81,000 are inactive.
Early statistics show that ~55% of all abandoned wells are being re-entered/re-drilled.
Colorado has over 5,000 reported industrial waste spills on record.
There have been 3,552 oil and gas related public complaints filed with the COGCC.
The burden of expense has been shifted to the local emergency response departments to battle any fires or mishaps. This expense has been shifted by the oil and gas industry to citizen tax payers, meaning ‘you.’
There have been 3,964 ‘Notice of Alleged Violations’ filed by the COGCC.
There are 825 unique oil and gas operators listed at COGCC.
There are 693 ‘UIC SIMULTANEOUS DISPOSAL’, ‘UIC ENHANCED RECOVERY’, ‘UIC DISPOSAL’ sites in Colorado. Approximately 300 are active.
There are over 5,000 pits in Colorado of all statuses.
There are 11 gas storage facilities in Colorado.
There are 168 gas processing plants in Colorado.
There are 183 gas compressor stations in Colorado.
There are 108 gas gathering systems in Colorado.
There are more than 4,000 active oil and gas wells closer to homes than the COGCC 350′ setback mandates, thus denying the state to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts to human health
COGCC has failed to prevent or mitigate adverse environmental and human health impacts in accordance with their mission statement.
In the News
350 Colorado calls for decommissioning of the COGCC
Resources that discuss the elevated amounts of methane leaking from natural gas wells, the natural gas piping infrastructure and leaking at end use sites (i.e. a kitchen stove). Methane is potent greenhouse gas: