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Is Fracking in Colorado Causing Injuries and Deaths? Measuring the Threat

fracking-in-coloradoGiven the surplus of recent star-studded documentaries on fracking, it is unsurprising that the environmental issue has gained tremendous public attention. In some states, the situation is even more dire than in others.

Fracturing the Keystone

One recent study published in Widener Law Journal argued that unconventional horizontal fracking in Pennsylvania should be considered an “abnormally dangerous” activity due to the environmental risks it poses. This study looked at the issue from a largely legislative standpoint, and it concludes with the argument that “fracking will become increasingly safer through the imposition of strict liability, which will mitigate the negative environmental impacts of the industry, and in time, allow for expanding gas production through safer methods.”

Fracking in Colorado

Colorado is home to the Niobrara Shale, which is a rich source of natural gas frequently targeted for fracking operations. Thanks in part to improvements in geotechnical engineering, the number of active oil and gas wells in the state nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010, rising from 22,228 to 43,354 wells. A study conducted by the Colorado School of Public Health over three years concluded that fracking contributed to “acute and chronic health problems for those living near natural gas drilling sites.” Researchers also discovered potentially toxic petroleum hydrocarbons in the air near the wells, including the known carcinogen, benzene.

Further research also revealed that prolonged exposure to airborne petroleum hydrocarbons causes “an increased risk of eye irritation and headaches, asthma symptoms, acute childhood leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, and multiple myeloma.”

Recent Legislative Actions

Earlier this month, Colorado’s House defeated a bill that would have allowed local government control over the siting of oil and gas drilling. Both Democrats and Republicans in the House claimed that the timing of the decision would have added “regulatory confusion,” since the state Supreme Court has yet to decide on the legality of such regulatory powers. In 2013, Longmont voters passed a ban on hydraulic fracturing, while Fort Collins voters passed a five-year moratorium.

If you or your loved ones have been the victim of the negative effects of fracking through injury or wrongful death, we encourage you to take legal action and help put a stop to irresponsible practices. Contact Roberts Accident Law today to begin working toward the justice you deserve.



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