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University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

University of Colorado Denver, Newsroom

School of Public Health releases report on natural gas drilling

Examines health, safety effects in Garfield County

3/1/2011
 

DENVER, Colo. – The Colorado School of Public Health released a report today on the potential health and safety impacts of natural gas drilling in the Battlement Mesa area of Garfield County.

The report is the second draft of the Health Impact and Assessment (HIA) originally released last September. It examines current information on the environmental, social and health status of Battlement Mesa and its residents. It then compares this with the known impacts of natural gas drilling and what health effects might be expected.

The assessment specifically looks at the impact on air, water, soil and traffic along with the potential economic and social effects of drilling. Then it makes recommendations on preventing pollution, protecting public safety and addressing social impacts by fostering effective communication between all stakeholders.

“The report responds directly to serious concerns that Battlement Mesa residents have had, and puts extensive research on the table for their review,” says Jim Rada, Environmental Health Manager for Garfield County Public Health and project manager for the HIA.   

The report was prepared by a team of environmental and public health experts from the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Denver.  The team, which includes experts in public health, epidemiology, environmental health, exposure assessment, and environmental medicine, used this information, as well as the scientific literature, to estimate the potential health impacts of natural gas development in Battlement Mesa.   

The project is led by Roxana Witter, MD, MS, MSPH, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.   

“By requesting and supporting this HIA, the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners has been proactive in its efforts to protect its citizens,” Witter said.

Garfield County Public Health is seeking public comments on the report for one month from Monday March 1 through March 28 at 5 p.m. MDT.

The report is available for download on the Garfield County website www.garfield-county.com

Comments must be submitted according to the process outlined on the Garfield County Public Health website before the March 28 deadline.

The CSPH team will respond to comments in the final version of the report which will be released to the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners at the end of April. 

The new Colorado School of Public Health is the first and only school of public health in the Rocky Mountain Region, attracting top tier faculty and students from across the country, and providing a vital contribution towards ensuring our region’s health and well-being. Collaboratively formed by the University of Colorado Denver, Colorado State University, and the University of Northern Colorado, the Colorado School of Public Health provides training, innovative research and community service to actively address public health issues, including chronic disease, access to health care, environmental threats, emerging infectious diseases, and costly injuries. 

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Contact: David Kelly, 303-315-6374, david.kelly@ucdenver.edu