Fracing in Colorado: Know Your Legal Rights
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracing”, has long been a concern in Colorado. Fracing is the process of initiating and subsequently propagating a fracture in a rock layer, by means of a pressurized fluid, in order to release petroleum, natural gas, coal seam gas, or other substances for extraction (definition from wikipedia). Fracing is used in 90% of natural gas drilling, and are the only industry allowed to inject known toxins into the ground near water supplies with no federal oversight. One of the problems with the practice is the lack of control that these companies have over the chemicals once they are injected into the ground. The chemicals have been known to spread into nearby water systems and have even been known to contaminate underground aquifers.
In 2008, citizens of Colorado won a major victory when the state government approved a suite of protections for Colorado’s public health and environment. However, according to state records, an oil and gas-related still ends up in ground or surface water every three and a half days.
In April 2011, Congress found that industry blasted 1.3 million gallons of diesel into wells in the state going back on a promise not to do so. The damage to our states’ drinking water supply is still going on today If you are a resident of Colorado and are concerned about this issue, get involved by telling our state and federal government that you want stricter standards applied to the companies who are responsible. On March 24, 2011, the The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act was re-introduced into congress, but has not yet been voted on. The FRAC act was initially sponsored in the House by representatives Diana DeGette, of Colorado, Maurice Hinchey of N.Y., and Jared Polis, also from Colorado.
In Colorado, companies who cause damage to your property can be held financially responsible. If you suspect your water has been tainted by chemicals or by-products of drilling for natural gas, you should contact an attorney for further investigation and consultation.
For more information on your legal rights in Colorado, contact The Tisdel Law Firm. The attorneys at the Tisdel Law firm have been fighting for owners’ natural resource and water rights for over 30 years.