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Reader: Fracking buffers make sense 

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Colorado Proposition 112 "Safer Setbacks" is simple, direct and clear. It mandates a buffer zone of 2,500 feet between new fracking operations and homes, schools and water sources. A study published in Science of the Total Environment conducted over three years by the Colorado School of Public Health concluded that fracking can contribute to acute and chronic health problems for those living near natural gas drilling sites. ... The study found those living closer to natural gas drilling sites faced greater health risks than those who live farther away.

Local incidents, research and personal experience continue to raise stronger and stronger concerns about the dangers of fracking operations, like risk of explosions and fires and excessive use of precious water. Studies and surveys show numerous detrimental health issues for people living within the currently allowed 500-foot buffer zone include: low birth weight babies, heightened cancer risk (eight times higher than the upper limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency) and respiratory impacts. Also consider noxious odors, noise and vibrations from truck traffic, plus floodlights at night. Fracking contributes to climate change, not to mention a delay in creating a just transition to renewable energy sources.

I believe in the precautionary principle that "when an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures must be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not yet scientifically fully established."

This is the common-sense idea behind many wise sayings. "Better safe than sorry." "Look before you leap." "First do no harm."

Vote yes on Proposition 112.

— Dr. Cedar Barstow

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