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Colorado To Study Oil And Gas Emissions, Become One Of First States To Require Groundwater Sampling Before And After Drilling

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This photo taken on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2012, shows four oil pumps near a subdivision near Frederick, Colo. Oil and gas drilling in Colorado is no longer confined to the state's most rural areas. Energy companies are moving to drill in populous Front Range communities prompting local planners to suggest regulations that energy companies complaints far exceed county authority. Politicians from both parties are calling for legislation clarifying that locals can't set their own rules when it comes t | AP

DENVER (AP) — Colorado officials are launching a study of emissions tied to oil and gas development following a hearing by regulators that questions the science needed for making rules.

The project is expected to provide information about how oil and gas emissions travel and their behavior in areas along the northern Front Range, which has become a hotbed for drilling. A second phase is expected to assess possible health effects.

Officials said Wednesday that testimony during this week's Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rulemaking hearing reinforced views of industry and environmental experts that better science is needed related to oil and gas emissions.

On Monday, the commission approved rules making the state one of the first to require energy companies to do groundwater sampling both before and after they drill.

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