The Colorado House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that would require a study of the health impact of fracking in Colorado. The bill, House Bill 1297, passed with all Democratic Representatives, and one Republican Representative from Grand Junction, Colorado, in favor.
If signed into law, the bill would direct the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to conduct an “analysis of human health and quality of life” in six counties along Colorado’s front range: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer, and Weld. According to a fiscal note on the bill, the study will cost approximately $600,000.
The study required under the bill would be conducted in two phases. Phase one would include a study of existing medical literature, identification of “conditions of interest” that medical literature indicates might be related to oil and gas operations, and a written report presented to general assembly committees by the end of this year. Phase two would then include mailed and online surveys concerning the identified conditions, and “case-controlled studies” on at least two relevant conditions.
The bill’s sponsor, Joann Ginal (D – Fort. Collins), commented after the vote that people across Colorado had expressed concern about the potential effects of increased oil and gas operations in Colorado. According to Ginal, “This analysis will help [Colorado] be better informed and make educated decisions as we move forward.”
The bill will now be considered by the Colorado Senate.
Coverage available here.