State lawmakers approve funding for additional oil and gas monitoring

State lawmakers on the Joint Budget Committee are moving forward with proposals to improve the inspection of oil and gas wells in Colorado and the monitoring of air near them.

The proposals are based on recommendations from the governor's task force on oil and gas development, which wrapped up its work last month.

Initial funding was approved for a proposal to add 12 more workers to the agency tasked with inspecting the state’s oil and gas wells. Another approved proposal would convert five part-time employees of the state health department to full-time to expand air quality monitoring around well pads.

The department also plans to set up a hotline and website for people with health questions about the industry. Money for special infrared cameras to detect emissions also is being considered.