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Energy

Lawsuit seeks suspension of drilling permits in Colorado until regulations are updated

Colorado Rising attorney Joe Salazar said the Denver District Court complaint alleges the state is issuing drilling permits under rules made obsolete by a new law

Oil and gas development equipment is pictured near Crestone Peak Resources' Cosslett site near Erie Parkway and Interstate 25 in Weld County on Thursday, April 4, 2019. (Andy Colwell, Special to the Colorado Sun)

A group opposed to hydraulic fracturing announced a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to halt new oil and gas drilling permits until updated regulations are in place.

Colorado Rising attorney Joe Salazar said the Denver District Court complaint alleges the state is issuing drilling permits under rules made obsolete by a new law .

The law requires the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to put public health and safety ahead of production in considering permits. It’s devising rules to comply.

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A group of Broomfield residents contend, in part, that the agency didn’t afford them the right to raise health and environmental objections afforded them under the new law as the agency considered a well location permit.

Commission spokeswoman Megan Castle on Wednesday noted that the agency repeatedly has advised the public that it will conduct business, including considering permit applications, under the new law while it devises new rules.