Colorado oil and gas panel shaping rule to measure harm to groundwater

Colorado regulators, industry reps and environmentalists on Monday dove into the details of creating a before-and-after groundwater testing system to better detect contamination and ease concerns about drilling.

“This is our attempt to get more buy-in, more acceptability for these activities where they haven’t happened yet,” said Mike King, state director of natural resources, also serving on the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

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Longmont drill ban flames anti-frack forces on eve of “prosper” rally

Longmont voters’ ban on oil and gas drilling in their city has ignited anti-fracking forces along Colorado’s Front Range — and pro-industry groups are pushing back.

Aurora, Commerce City, Denver, Fort Collins, Lafayette and Louisville residents on Monday were mobilizing to push for similar bans on drilling inside their towns

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Health department won’t enforce all oil and gas well clean-air rules

Colorado health authorities will not fully enforce new EPA rules designed to protect people from air pollution at oil and gas facilities.

The state’s Air Quality Control Commission voted instead for a partial adoption of the federal clean-air rules. They plan to hold public meetings next year to consider full implementation.

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Feds prepare to open South Park for drilling near metro water source

FAIRPLAY — The federal Bureau of Land Management is preparing to open South Park — metro Denver’s main water source — to oil and gas drilling.

But Aurora Water, local authorities and conservationists are pushing back, demanding careful planning before any land is leased.

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Colorado farms planning for dry spell losing auction bids for water to fracking projects

Front Range farmers bidding for water to grow crops through the coming hot summer and possible drought face new competition from oil and gas drillers.

At Colorado’s premier auction for unallocated water this spring, companies that provide water for hydraulic fracturing at well sites were top bidders on supplies once claimed exclusively by farmers.

The prospect of tussling with energy industry giants over water leaves some farmers and environmentalists uneasy.

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Cotter Corp. adds $6.8 million to uranium mill cleanup as Colorado accelerates timetable

It’ll take at least a decade before Cotter Corp.’s contaminated Colorado
uranium mill is cleaned up under a new deal aimed at accelerating work
at the site.

The agreement settles a long-running dispute about the
surety fund – state officials have estimated cleanup would cost as much
as $40 million – and also sets Cotter’s timetable and penalties if
deadlines aren’t met.

A watchdog group criticized the deal, saying plans
were revised with little public input.

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Uranium sifted from groundwater piles up inside mine west of Denver

Nearly three-quarters of a ton of concentrated uranium removed from groundwater to protect metro-area drinking water is piling up at Cotter Corp.’s defunct mine west of Denver.

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Federal settlements give Colorado tribes a share of water right

Water has filled a massive new reservoir to the brim – the federal government’s first major project in 15 years that could help slake the arid West’s thirsts.

But the $513 million Nighthorse reservoir in south west Colorado will not supply any of the dozens of sprawling Western cities seeking water.

Instead, the 123,541 acre-feet of water stored here – more than Denver’s Cheesman and Gross reservoirs combined – belongs mostly to the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes.

The project reflects a quiet but substantial shift of control over a crucial resource as the federal government tries to turn a new page with tribes.

Six recent water settlements have forced the government to commit $2.04 billion for dam, pipeline and reservoir projects – giving sovereign tribes from Montana to New Mexico control over 1.5 million acre-feet of new water each year.

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Cotter cleans up toxic Colorado uranium mill as it considers future

CAÑON CITY – Cotter Corp. crews jack-hammered concrete foundations and ripped apart contaminated remaining buildings at their uranium mill, pushing to consolidate all waste in a massive impoundment pond by year’s end. Cotter’s dismantling activities are happening at a turning point where licensing requirements may force a decision on the future of the mill.

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Urban mining grows as gold demand and number of cast-off electronics rise

The disassembly-line workers hammering, drilling, snipping and shredding in a north Denver warehouse each morning are pioneers in new urban mining. End product: gold, silver, copper, aluminum.

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