• I firmly believe that any drilling setback should be between 2000 feet and 2500 feet as those are the minimum safe distances between a well blowout explosion and fire and unprotected human skin according to a recent peer-reviewed University of Pittsburgh Medical School study that determined the distance by thermal modeling after studying quite a few different oil field well blowouts.

    The 2500-foot minimum safe distance is for a fracking hazmat spill, and ranges up to 2.5 miles depending on what chemical is involved, the quantity of the chemical spilled, and the weather at the time of the spill.

    Considering that the fracking industry can drill up to 3 miles sideways underground they do not need to drill at an unsafe distance anywhere in Broomfield.

    In fact there is an older well pad off of Huron between Hwy 7 and 160th Ave from which a single rig could drill under the entire Anthem and Anthem Highlands subdivisions, almost all of Vista Ridge, all of the new subdivisions north of Hwy 7 east of Sheridan, and all the way to 1.5 miles east of I-25, and not be any closer to a single house than 2200 feet, 2800 feet from Children’s Hospital, and 3700 feet from the closest of those new duplexes in North Park off of Sheridan too. At 3 miles sideways their drill bits would end up 1500 feet on the west side of Anthem Ranch where the old coal mines are.

    There is no reason that the industry needs to be any closer than 2000 feet to any home, school, business, or large crowd of people anywhere in Broomfield. (Measured via Google Earth).

    • Leigh Paterson

      Hi Mark- I was the reporter on the story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Oil and gas development on the Front Range is a big issue and one that we will continue to cover. So, stay tuned!