The Boulder County Commissioners approved funding for an 18-month air quality study focusing on oil and gas emissions produced by fracking. The study, which will cost $81,291, will measure the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in the County’s air, as well as assess cost-effective monitoring techniques, officials said.
Boulder County Public Health and the University of Colorado will conduct the study. Commissioners Cindy Domenico, Deb Gardner and Elise Jones unanimously approved the project, which will come from the county’s 2013 general fund budget.
Commissioners expressed their enthusiasm for the study, citing concern about the high volume of oil and gas extraction in neighboring Weld County. Weld has 53,000 approved drilling sites, where fracking is largely used to extract fossil fuels. Four locations in proximity to oil and gas extraction sites will be included in the study, as well as a “background” site in a highly populated area, tentatively proposed somewhere in south Boulder.
Note: What will the Commissioners do with the results of this study? Fracking has become a major issue in Northern Colorado but this study will not end the debate.