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Oil Drilling Proposal Raises Concerns; City Says Its Hands Are Tied

By Dominic Garcia

DACONO, Colo. (CBS4) - In a packed city council meeting, Dacono residents voiced their opposition to planned oil drilling near homes.

The city says oil company Anadarko bought four plots of land, about 500 acres total, and plans to develop more than 70 wells.

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"I'm terrified, we all should be. Why are we letting this happen? How can they do this?" said one Dacono resident.

Some worry how all that drilling might affect their health. Others say it will have a huge impact on their home value.

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"As soon as they start doing this I'm going to lose 10-15 percent of my property value. It took me and my wife years to squirrel away enough money to get a down payment to even buy that house," said one resident.

Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin were killed in a home explosion in Firestone in 2017. (credit: CBS)

Also on their minds is the explosion in Firestone that killed two people last April. Anadarko owned the well linked to that explosion.

City officials say they don't want the drilling in Dacono, but their hands are tied.

"They own the mineral rights below them and are permitted by the state to do that, and they also own the land on top of that," said city manager A.J. Euckert.

"These guys have no regard on how they make their money," said resident Edward Martinez. "We lived here our whole life and put our blood and sweat into this."

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Anadarko responded to the concerns in a statement:

"Purchasing surface land enables our development to stay further away from more populated areas, which can improve efficiency and reduce impacts on the community. Our objective, consistent with our approach in all municipalities throughout the DJ Basin, is to work cooperatively with the City of Dacono to safely develop the oil and natural gas resources we all need in a manner that respects the City's plans for growth and well-being."

Dominic Garcia anchors CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. Connect with the Denver native on Twitter @cbs4dom & on Facebook.

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