Improperly abandoned “orphan” wells are costing the state of Colorado about $75,000 each and as The Denver Post reports, there are about 300 inactive wells in the state that were supposed to be plugged with cement to prevent contamination of soil and water.
This has concerned state officials, who revealed on Monday that they are having trouble taxing the oil and gas industry at the levels needed to deal with those and other environmental impacts.
On Monday, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved a .4 mill levy increase, which would raise about $4.8 million from oil and gas companies for an existing Environmental Response Fund.
The fund has enabled the state to deal with some of the environmental impacts of the oil and gas boom that companies don’t handle on their own.
COGCC has the statutory authority to raise its mill levy to 1.7. With the increase approved Monday, the mill levy is currently at 1.1 mills.