DENVER - Federal records show that more than 240 newly drilled oil and gas wells considered high pollution risks on Colorado public lands weren't inspected during a recent three-year period.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management data reviewed by The Associated Press show that almost 60 percent of the 420 high-priority wells went unexamined between fiscal year 2009 and 2012.
Nationwide, about 40 percent of 3,500 such wells weren't reviewed, underscoring the government's struggle to keep pace with America's drilling boom.
The BLM designates high-priority wells based on a greater need to protect against water contamination and other environmental safety issues.
A BLM spokeswoman in Colorado says budget cuts and the difficulty in recruiting and retaining inspectors are among the reasons for the backlog.