Colorado OKs New Oil & Gas Rules For Local Governments

<p>(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)</p>
<p>This Dec. 5, 2012 photo shows an oil pump jack in a Weld County field near Fredrick, Colorado. </p>
Photo: Oil in Weld County Frederick Colorado
This Dec. 5, 2012 photo shows an oil pump jack in a Weld County field near Fredrick, Colorado.

By a split vote, commissioners approved rules requiring companies to work more closely with communities when drilling sites near residential areas reach a certain size.

Dan Haley, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, said the rules would hurt the industry.

“Despite industry’s significant and meaningful involvement, and submission of reasonable solutions to recognized problems with the draft Rules, certain portions of the COGCC Rule remain problematic, unsupported by reasonable or technical basis, and unclear as to the intent and purpose," Haley said in a statement.

Community groups said the rules would not do enough to protect residents from the noise and emissions around drilling sites.

One member of the task force, Sara Barwinski, told the commission the rule wasn't strong enough.

“The public deserves to know that this rule is window dressing. It won’t protect them when oil and gas comes knocking at their door," Barwinski said, the Grand Junction Sentinel reports.