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The head of the state agency that oversees oil and gas drilling in Colorado says it’s too early to commit to a baseline health study in a Western Slope community wary of plans to site up to 200 natural gas wells near homes and on its municipal golf course.
Garfield County public health officials believe a relatively untested type of health impact study could be a valuable tool in assessing the risks of natural gas drilling in the heart of the Battlement Mesa retirement community on Colorado’s Western Slope.
A group of citizen activists in the Western Slope retirement community of Battlement Mesa is hoping a type of health-impact study used successfully in the oil fields of Alaska’s North Slope can help them curtail pollution, traffic and noise from a looming natural gas drilling plan in their Garfield County town of 5,000. They have their work cut out for them. In conversations with the Colorado Independent, citizens say they have little faith that county commissioners elected to protect public health but backed by oil and gas money will put residents' interests before those of the energy companies.
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