The death of three men who were installing a water heater in a Firestone, Colorado home may lead to the implementation of state-sanctioned no-build zones for new residential construction.
The men died after gas from an uncapped flow line connected to an active oil and gas well caused a massive explosion, not only killing the men, but destroying the two year-old suburban home.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has since announced that the State of Colorado may look into the possibility of passing a law that will define the distance between an operative or abandoned well and where a new home may be built.
State regulations currently require that new wells must not be constructed within 500 feet of a home. But the law applies only to new proposed wells and not where a new home might be built.
Because there are more than 50,000 active wells in a state that has been experiencing an unprecedented increase in home building in the last five years, the no-build zone issue is a hotly debated one by interested parties.
In response to the Firestone explosion, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has ordered energy companies to inspect and report on the present usage of every gas and oil well in the state.
By Garry Boulard
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