GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The Garfield County commissioners say the county will commit up to $1 million for a study of air pollution near oil and gas wells.

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported Tuesday ( that energy companies have agreed to contribute $800,000 toward the three-year, $1.8 million study.

The study would be done by Colorado State University and would examine the type and quantity of emissions from drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas operations in the county.

Commissioner John Martin said the study is an appropriate use of the county's oil and gas mitigation funds.

"We're not out to manipulate the political issues (around oil and gas development) but to get the facts out there," Martin said. "These are the kind of things we need to find out and to share with the public."

Jeff Collett, chairman of the CSU Atmospheric Sciences Department, said the study won't address the potential health effects on humans but could provide the basis for future studies on that topic.

Mobile and stationary collection stations would gather air samples upwind and downwind of well sites.

Results wouldn't be released until the study is done in 2015 unless researchers detect dangerous levels of pollution, Collett said.

An advisory panel would consult with researchers on the study. The panel would include air quality experts from the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Bureau of Land Management, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and industry scientists.


Information from: Post Independent,