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Air emissions
Air emissions are released from oil and gas facilities, causing odors and unwanted, unmonitored exposures. That's right- no one monitors people's exposure to emissions from oil and gas facilities. Emissions from well pads are exempt from the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) requirement that polluters get permits for aggregated sources of hazardous air pollutant. In addition, off road equipment used in drilling operations are exempt from Colorado air and noise regulations. (See ewg.org for more information on CAA exemptions.)

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that 460 gas wells in Garfield County release more than 30 tons of benzene, a known carcinogen. Workers and others have also been exposed to deadly H2S gas in Garfield County.

Noise
After odors, more citizens complain to the Garfield County Oil and Gas Department about noise than anything else. The industry unnecessarily generates noise through truck traffic, drilling rigs, and especially compressors. The COGCC has regulations that require oil and gas facilities to keep noise below standards applicable to the prevailing land use, but often does not enforce the rules, according to former Garfield County Oil and gas liaison, Judy Jordan. Call the COGCC anyway, if you have a complaint.

Click here for a presentation by noise Solution at a Garfield County Energy Advisory Board meeting.

Water
Water has been contaminated in Garfield County and elsewhere by oil and gas industry operations. According to the Groundwater Protection Council, most of this contamination comes from spills and human error. One case of human error was EnCana's contamination of West Divide Creek in 2004. Other contamination incidents include Williams alleged contamination of Prather Spring and the contamination at the Amos Well (see Earthworks story at earthworksaction.org/evLauraAmos.cPm).

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