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Written by Heidi Rice | Citizen Telegram Editor

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RIFLE — The second day of a two-day meeting of the Governor’s Oil and Gas Task Force continues from 8 a.m. to noon today at the Farm Fresh Cafe, 1733 Railroad Avenue in Rifle.

The morning will start with a discussion of human health and public safety including perspectives on current studies and monitoring process from lead researchers and regultory agencies. There will also be a task for question and answer period and discussion.

The group will also review the outcome of Wednesday’s meeting and have a discussion on potential areas of agreement on issues and solutions. The public is welcome to attend any and all parts of the meeting.

The governor appointed the task force to develop cooperative strategies regarding the regulation of oil and gas development and to report its recommendation to him.

“We will bring the recommendations back to the governor and the people will be able to respond,” said Kathleen Staks, Assistant Director for Energy of the Department of Natural Resources. “People can come and fill out a card and submit their question.”

At a meeting of the Northwest Colorado Oil & Gas Forum held last Thursday morning at the West Rifle Colorado Mountain College campus, task force officials reported on the latest oil and gas regulations and the number of rigs that are currently operating in the area.

As of to date, there are 10 drilling rigs operating in Garfield County and 973 drilling permits approved by the state as of December 2.