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An oil and gas drilling rig operating in the Wattenburg Field north of Denver, Colorado. (Image: Plazak via Wikipedia)

Scientists to report results of fracking air pollution study

DENVER (AP) — Scientists are about to report the results of a three-year study of air pollution from western Colorado fracking wells.

The research being released Tuesday doesn’t measure the effects of the emissions on human health, but the findings will help state health officials devise such a study later.

The $1.7 million western Colorado study looked at how methane — a greenhouse gas — and ozone-causing compounds disperse from fracking wells.

It was funded by Garfield County and drilling companies. The principal investigator is Jeff Collett, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University.

Collett is leading another study of fracking pollution along the Front Range, due this summer.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, uses pressurized water, sand and chemicals to break open underground formations and release oil and gas.

In related news, Colorado’s battle over regulating fracking shifts to ballot.

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