State Shuts Down 40 Illegally Operating Wells

Two oil and gas companies have been ordered to stop operating 40 wells in La Plata County that state officials say pose a "significant threat" to public health.

The Durango Herald reports the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission issued cease-and-desist orders in February to Texas-based Atom Petroleum LLC and Hoshi Energy LLC, based out of Castle Rock, Colorado. The companies are also required to clean up the sites and implement repairs to prevent spills.

A state investigation in January found several health risks at the well sites, including crude oil leaks and uncontrolled waste.

The commission's order says the companies haven't paid fees necessary to operate the sites.

An Atom Petroleum representative didn't respond to calls for comment. An attorney listed for Hoshi said he couldn't comment on the matter.