LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — San Miguel County commissioners are scheduled to vote Wednesday on an ordinance that would impose some of the strictest requirements on oil and natural gas exploration in the country.
The measure would restrict oil and gas exploration to a sparsely populated stretch on the eastern side of the county, some 60 miles away from the county seat of Las Vegas.
Under the ordinance, drilling companies would have to pay various application fees and would have to foot the bill for pre-drilling assessments, among other things.
County officials say the requirements are aimed at protecting the health, safety and environmental welfare of residents.
The commission's vote comes as a federal judge considers the constitutionality of efforts by neighboring Mora County to ban all oil and gas development.