Montana Delays Decision on Drilling Buffers

by Elizabeth Alford on August 27, 2015

In Montana, officials delayed their decision on establishing buffer zones for oil and gas industry.

Related: Montana Considers Drilling Buffer

Montana joins other local and state agencies faced with figuring out how to regulate drilling activities in light of health and environmental concerns. The Northern Plains Resource Council is asking for a quarter-mile setback between well pads and inhabited buildings. This is much greater than the 500 feet required by neighboring states of North Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado.

The oil and gas industry oppose the setbacks, claiming that Montana is different than other states since citizens have a right to bring concerns to the board. A spokesperson from the Montana petroleum Association says that there has been little complaint from land owners.

At a meeting on August 12th, the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation decided it needs more information before it considers the measure.

“Today is just another step in our continuing efforts to do this process,” said Cindy Webber, oil and gas task force chair for Northern Plains. “There are next steps that we can take and we do want to protect land owners in the midst of oil and gas development.”

Learn for more from local station, KTVQ

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