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Media Contact:

Nathalie Eddy, (720) 935-7404, neddy@earthworks.org; Alan Septoff, (202) 888-7844, aseptoff@earthworks.org

Yesterday the City of Broomfield reluctantly voted not to impose an emergency Public Health order to prevent Extraction Oil & Gas from conducting flowback operations while Governor Polis’ stay-at-home remains in place. They made this decision because they were advised by counsel that subsequent lawsuits would make the order cost-prohibitive.

“Flowback” is one of the most polluting phases of fracking, where health toxics like benzene are emitted. Earthworks has documented plumes of volatile organic compounds from Extraction’s operations blowing into adjacent communities. During the COVID emergency, residents are effectively trapped in their homes.

Passed in 2019, SB181 requires Colorado regulators to prioritize public health and safety ahead of oil and gas interests, and explicitly authorizes local governments to go further than the state in protecting their residents’ health.

Statement of Earthworks Colorado Field Advocate Nathalie Eddy:
“It’s a travesty that Broomfield can’t protect its residents from fracking air pollution during a pandemic for fear of an oil and gas company’s lawsuit. This is exactly what SB181 was supposed to address.”

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