DENVER - The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is expected to decide Monday whether to approve expanded buffers between buildings and oil and natural-gas wells.

The hearing follows postponement of a decision last month when the state agency received a deluge of letters and emails on the matter.

The oil commission earlier in January had given preliminary approval to increasing setbacks from 350 feet in urban areas and 150 feet in rural areas to a uniform 500 feet statewide. Drilling operations also could not take place within 1,000 feet of buildings with larger numbers of people, including schools, hospitals and nursing homes.

The proposed rules have drawn fire from environmentalists, industry representatives and Weld elected officials.

Weld County commissioners Jan. 16 called on the oil commission to dismiss the new rules, which they said they would disobey.

Monday's hearing begins 9 a.m. at the Wells Fargo Building, 1700 Lincoln St., main floor, in Denver.