Antero requests additional month to review Battlement HIA |

Antero requests additional month to review Battlement HIA

John Colson
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Antero Resources, a gas drilling company working in Garfield County, has asked for an additional month to review a controversial Health Impact Assessment report about Battlement Mesa.

The company asked for the extension because the length and complexity of the HIA requires continued review, and the company wants to submit data to be included in the final HIA, according to a memorandum submitted to Garfield County by the Colorado School of Public Health.

But the School of Public Health – which produced the HIA initially in late 2010 and revised it largely due to energy industry criticism of the report’s conclusions and methodology – is objecting to the proposed extension.

The matter is to be discussed at a meeting before the Garfield County commissioners at 1:15 p.m. on Monday.

The request by Antero initially was made at a meeting on March 14 in Parachute, but county officials ruled that it was not on the agenda for that meeting and delayed discussion of the request.

The commissioners authorized the study in response to requests from residents of Battlement Mesa, where Antero plans to drill up to 200 natural gas wells from nine surface pads inside the community boundaries.

“The HIA team welcomes thorough review of the second draft,” states a memo from the School of Public Health to the commissioners, dated March 21. “We feel that the HIA has prompted the industry to seek deeper understanding of the emissions, sources and potential associated health outcomes” of drilling in a dense residential area.

But, the school opposes Antero’s request for an extension of the comment period.

Among the reasons for the school’s resistance to an extension, according to the memo, is that “the second draft of the HIA does not include large amounts of new data or information to analyze. Most of the new data used in the second draft was provided by Antero.”

Plus, according to the CPSH and the county’s environmental health director, Jim Rada, the industry was told of the changes in January, before the draft HIA was released.

The memo to the BOCC maintains that the second draft “is only 10 pages longer than the first draft,” and that appendices attached to the report do not add much to the length of the overall document.

Rada, who was not at the meeting when Antero first made the request, said he had “not made a recommendation either way” about the requested extension.

He said he will, if asked by the BOCC, make a recommendation based on what is said at the meeting on March 21.

The commissioners’ regular weekly meeting is in the county administration building, 108 8th St. in Glenwood Springs, starting at 8 a.m.

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