The Front Range in Colorado has one of the fastest growing populations in the country. The area is also rich oil and gas resources, and as people continue to flood in, the drilling keeps expanding. The expansion of drilling rigs has harmful effects on the environment, but people are also starting to see dangers to human health and safety. In some areas, new homes can be built just 150 ft. away from an existing oil well. There have already been two deaths in a home explosion, which was tied to a pipeline leak into the house’s basement. The people of Colorado want to see changes made in energy development.
Environmental Engineering faculty member, Professor Joe Ryan, is working closely with AirWaterGas to gather more data on this development. He wants to make sure that laws and regulations that are being set in place to compromise between communities and energy companies have been fully analyzed with scientific basis. With new oil and gas projects still popping up all over the Front Range, the citizens are fighting for stricter rules, more safety precautions and changes to existing legislation. The Environmental Engineering program at CU is devoted to public health and safety, and with the work of people like Joe Ryan, we are hopeful that positive steps will be taken and improvements to this system will be made.