SHARECOMMENTMORE

DENVER (AP) - Colorado regulators have voted to require new oil and gas wells to be drilled at least 500 feet from homes and buildings.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission voted 8-1 in favor of the new setback rule Monday. Currently, wells must be 150 feet from buildings in rural areas and 350 feet away in more populated areas.

The Denver Post reports that operators can still apply for permission to drill closer than 500 feet.

Environmentalists and community groups pushed for a 1,000-foot buffer but the oil and gas industry opposed bigger setbacks, saying it may make it more difficult to develop resources. The building industry and Weld County commissioners also opposed bigger setbacks.

The new rule comes as drilling moves into more populated areas.