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Erie, CO— Seven people have been hospitalized due to a Monday night fire at an oil and gas site north of Erie on the Boulder-Weld county line.  According to nearby residents, the site is Crestone Peak’s Regnier Farms well pad in Longmont, where the community has been raising alarms with regulators and the company about the site for months. Using a state-of-the-art optical gas imaging (OGI) camera, Earthworks documented air pollution from this site in mid-November and photographed a home in close proximity to the site; it is currently unknown whether any residents were hurt or evacuated due to this incident.

Statement by Earthworks Colorado and New Mexico Field Advocate Nathalie Eddy:

“While we don’t know everything about the fire at the Longmont oil and gas site, we already know more than enough for Colorado regulators to, at a minimum, pause permitting for any drilling activity within 2000 feet of any home, school or public activity area.

“Investigations by the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and local fire officials should consider if this explosion could have been prevented if regulators or Crestone Peak Resources had been controlling the pollution revealed by Earthworks’ OGI video or taken residents’ complaints seriously and as a sign of something wrong at the site.

“Regardless of the investigation’s outcome, explosions and blowouts from oil and gas extraction sadly are common.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment has acknowledged that, even when oil and gas production is operating properly, public health for those living nearby is threatened.

“State regulators are currently updating state oil and gas regulations to better protect health, safety, and climate. Incidents like these should remind them, and all Coloradans, of what’s at stake when we continue to rely on dirty fossil fuel extraction and allow development close to where people live, work, and play.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Justin Wasser, (202) 887-1872 x136, jwasser@earthworks.org 

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