Battlement residents run for protection
November 18, 2015 - storage organizer
DENVER — Battlement Mesa residents and their allies were among those appearing progressing this week before a Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to impugn manners it is deliberation that are dictated to give regulators and internal governments some-more contend in a plcae of vast oil and gas facilities.
The COGCC is operative to exercise manners suggested by a Governor’s Oil and Gas Task Force — that met for 6 months final year — to come adult with ways to umpire oil and gas activities to equivocate tentative list initiatives that would have mandated as most as 2,000-foot setbacks on oil and gas activity from civic areas.
The charge force came out with several rules, dual of that indispensable grave rulemaking hearings with a COGCC. The manners are No. 17, that defines a distance of oil and gas storage comforts that could be located nearby residential areas, and No. 20, that requires a oil and gas attention to register with internal governments and for companies to exhibit their five-year drilling skeleton in those internal areas.
In Battlement Mesa, a residential area adjacent to Parachute in unincorporated Garfield County, Ursa Resources has due environment adult good pads within a designed section development. Many residents, who have lived with gas operations adjacent to a PUD, contend a devise will mutilate their peculiarity of life on tip of their already shop-worn skill values, and they feel slighted by a due order that they feel is geared toward a some-more populous Front Range.
Battlement Mesa proprietor Bob Robertson pronounced Monday he and his mother suspicion they were removing “the Colorado dream” when they bought their home — “beautiful sights, quiet, pacific vital in a convenant-controlled community.”
“Then roughly 3 years ago, a Monument good pad went in usually outward a PUD, one-fourth mile from a home.” It brought “horrible smells that force us to go inside and spin off a engulf coolers, shrill noises, so we can’t lift on review with neighbors and friends. When we done calls to Ursa about a complaints, they said, ‘We’re sorry, we’ll get that fixed. We have a new lorry motorist who parked a wrong way, we‘ll supplement a integrate bales of hay’ … or ‘Oops, gas transient from a valve.’” Whatever happens, a operators don’t get even a slap on a wrist, he said.
“Now, Ursa wants to cavalcade 197 wells inside a PUD, 53 in proviso one. we can get a excellent if we leave a rubbish can out too prolonged … or if we play song too loud. … Battlement Mesa is a covenant-controlled community, and wells do not go inside it. The same covenants should request to anyone doing business inside a community. If wells are inside a Mesa PUD, tainted smells should equal vast fines, and shrill noises should equal vast fines.”
Don Simpson, Ursa’s clamp boss for business development, pronounced Battlement Mesa wasn’t set adult as retirement community. Exxon, when it hoped to remove oil shale, built a growth for workers, afterwards sole aspect rights when it deserted a area. Today Battlement Mesa residents are essentially attention employees, he said.
He pronounced Ursa has worked tough to promulgate with residents because it is seeking to cavalcade from within a PUD, and they will continue to have an event for submit as a association seeks a special assent from a Garfield County Commission that’s compulsory within Battlement Mesa, distinct most of a rest of a county, and afterwards seeks state approval.
Ursa’s specific skeleton weren’t before a commission, though it is a flashpoint that residents and activists see as applicable to a rulemaking process.
Emily Hornback, a village organizer with a Western Colorado Congress, told a elect that “whatever comes out of this rulemaking is … critically critical to a otherwise-unrepresented adjacent landowners who have been fighting for some arrange of authorised station before a COGCC for 30 years.”
“The new manners for large-scale comforts can't usually request to people vital in” civic slackening areas.
Hornback, vocalization on interest of Leslie Robinson, chair of a Grand Valley Citizen’s Alliance, who was ill and could not attend a hearing, said, “Battlement Mesa is a primary instance of how a emanate of ‘residential drilling,’ as it has come to be recognized, is not a only a Front Range issue. Here is a designed housing growth in Garfield County that is bumping adult opposite large-scale healthy gas development, with a same conflicts and problems as in Greeley and Windsor, etc.
“With 197 wells being drilled in and around their community, their story is flattering allied to anything that is function out here. However, depending on where a plot maybe be placed, tools of Battlement Mesa would not accommodate a [urban slackening area] definition.”
She pronounced “the elect has a singular event to make some tiny though common-sense changes to a regulations of this attention that will have genuine advantages for a members and people vital subsequent to OG growth opposite a state.”
Among those changes would be formulating a clarification for a large-scale trickery within 1,500 feet of a building section “with a same triggers as a vast UMA facility.”
“A clarification that stops during a range of an civic slackening area is a blunt instrument,” Hornback said. “Worse than being a blunt instrument, it’ll be like carrying a world’s smallest sledgehammer in your toolbox. You’re not going to repair many problems with that tool.
“UMA fails to comment for people and only depends a series of buildings within 1,000 feet. And it doesn’t even do that well. A residential building section could be a single-family home, a duplex, a triplex, condominium, an unit building with 100 people (which is a box in Battlement Mesa). You have no thought how many people live within a UMA. This order needs to be crafted in a demeanour to strengthen a health and reserve of people, not buildings.”
On Tuesday, a second day of a rule-making hearing, a state’s oil and gas regulatory physique listened testimony from dozens some-more anticipating to mold a new rules. The elect expected won’t make a preference until mid-December.
“Battlement Mesa is a covenant-controlled community, and wells do not go inside it. The same covenants should request to anyone doing business inside a community. If wells are inside a Mesa PUD, tainted smells should equal vast fines, and shrill noises should equal vast fines.”Bob RobertsonBattlement Mesa resident