Judge kills Thornton's oil and gas buffer and pipeline rules

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado judge has rejected a city's ordinances requiring 750-foot (229 meters) buffers and pipeline safety to protect residents from oil and gas drilling operations inside its boundaries.

The Denver Post reports Colorado District Court Judge Edward Moss, a former mayor of Westminster, declared Thornton's rules illegal because they conflict with a more permissive state law.

Moss leaned on a 2016 state Supreme Court ruling that he interpreted to mean municipalities "cannot authorize what state law forbids or forbid what state law allows."

Moss ruled Tuesday the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regulations for the industry trump 15 different rules Thornton made, including the buffer requirements.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the American Petroleum Institute had filed a lawsuit attacking the rules that Thornton made in August.

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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com

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