Letter: CDPHE validates Prop 112, kind of
A Colorado Department of Public Health study ordered by former Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2017 has somewhat verified the contention of Proposition 112, the defeated ballot initiative on the 2018 ballot that called for a 2,500-foot setback for all oil and gas drilling and fracking.
The CDPHE findings are people living or working within 2,000 feet of such activity could experience headaches, dizziness, and irritation to the eyes, skin, and lungs. The study wasn’t based on an analysis of health impacts, but simply an examination of the chemicals released by said action.
The premise of Prop 112 was much more serious health problems, like cancer and liver and kidney damage, are caused by drilling and fracking emissions including benzene, toluene, and xylenes. This comes from studies done by the Colorado School of Public Health and Earthworks which did involve an examination of frequency of hospitalization.
This is all an outgrowth of Senate Bill 181 which instructs the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to prioritize public health and safety in their permitting process. It’s a good first step, but the more severe health effects of oil and gas activity need to be recognized and an overall fracking ban and moratoria on drilling permits until the new rules are set next year is called for.
Fred Malo Jr,
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