Boulder County extends drilling application hold

BOULDER, Colo. - Boulder County commissioners have decided to extend a yearlong moratorium on processing new oil and gas drilling applications.

The moratorium was to have expired in early February, but the Longmont Times-Call reports commissioners decided Thursday to extend it through June 10.

That will give county employees time to prepare for implementing new drilling regulations that county commissioners adopted last month, setting new restrictions and conditions on oil and gas exploration in unincorporated parts of the county.

Some residents have urged commissioners to ban hydraulic fracturing, which involves blasting water, sand and chemicals underground to free oil and gas. But county officials say local governments don't have complete authority to regulate drilling in Colorado.

State officials have urged local governments not to regulate what's already regulated by the state.

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