A Colorado state court has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that hydraulic fracturing exposed plaintiffs to contaminated air and water thus harming their health and diminishing their property values. Strudley v. Antero Res. Corp., No. 11-2218 (Colo. Dist. Ct. 5/9/12). Residents of Silt, Colorado, sued Antero Resources Corp., Calfrac Well Services Corp., and Frontier Drilling, LLC for negligence, strict liability, trespass, and medical monitoring, alleging that their “health injuries” were caused by exposure to air and water contaminated by hazardous gases, chemicals and industrial waste from three natural gas wells near their residences.
The court dismissed the complaint after finding that plaintiffs had failed to make a prima facie showing of exposure and causation. The court noted that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission had conducted an investigation of plaintiffs’ well water and “concluded that the water supply was not affected by oil and gas operations in the vicinity.” It also cited defendants’ evidence that air emission-control equipment at the wells and prevailing wind patterns made it unlikely that plaintiffs or their property were exposed to harmful levels of chemicals.