Battlement Mesa activist urges state officials to deny Ursa proposal
In response to oil and gas development in Battlement Mesa, in particular the BMC A Pad proposal approved by Garfield County Commissioners in November, Battlement Mesa resident Dave Devanney traveled to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission hearing in Denver Monday to air his concerns directly.
Representing Battlement Concerned Citizens, Devanney voiced his general concerns over the commission’s 500-foot setback rule for new oil and gas operations in residential areas. He also spoke to Battlement Mesa operator Ursa Resources’ pending request before the COGCC for a variance to locate some facilities within the setback.
“My residential community is completely surrounded by oil and gas wells, and now the industry is demanding to drill right inside our neighborhoods,” he said to the commissioners. Devanney traveled three and a half hours so he could speak for three minutes during the comment portion of the hearing.
Devanney urged the COGCC to grant a public hearing on the BMC A Pad variance waiver.
“This proposal would set a precedent for communities all across Colorado. It’s important that the commission carefully considers whether it should allow a company to bypass health and safety protections,” Devanney said.
Ursa has proposed a wastewater injection well alongside 24 gas wells and associated facilities, to be located within the Battlement Mesa residential housing area.
According to Battlement Concerned Citizens, the approved well pad would lie within 500 feet of seven homes and 1,000 feet of 51 homes, 900 feet of Battlement’s water treatment facilities, and 1,000 feet of the Colorado River.
Battlement Mesa residents have expressed numerous concerns related to noise, light and traffic pollution, as well as the potential for decreased home values and health and safety impacts.
“If they can drill that close to a neighborhood in Battlement Mesa it can happen in Broomfield, it can happen in Thornton, and it can happen anywhere in the state,” Devanney said during his testimony.