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Drilling plans near Denver Superfund site face strong opposition

Residents near the Lowry Superfund landfill in Denver are protesting plans to drill 156 oil and gas wells beneath the reservoir that supplies them with drinking water.

Jennifer Oldham reports for Capital & Main.


In summary:

  • Residents of suburban Denver hired a lawyer to argue against Civitas Resources Inc.’s drilling plans and demanded that they be given equal time to present their case to state regulators.
  • The federal regulator fears that the drilling could jeopardize efforts to prevent cancer-causing chemicals from the Superfund site from leaking into groundwater.
  • Civitas claims that the drilling poses no health risks, but local residents are not convinced and have called in various experts to demand further studies.

Key quote:

“I looked everywhere and there was not a single mention of asthma… It’s part of the horror of it all, and they didn’t say a word about it in their application.”

— Conrad Huygen, resident of Aurora

Why this is important:

Environmentalists warn that drilling could stir up toxic residues still lurking underground, posing a significant threat to the ecosystem and public health. Proponents of the drilling project argue that modern techniques and strict regulations make the drilling safe. They tout the economic benefits, pointing to job creation and local revenue. But for many residents, these assurances ring hollow in the face of the potential ecological disaster.

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