Expansion planned for oil and gas waste water disposal site | PostIndependent.com

Expansion planned for oil and gas waste water disposal site

Donna GrayGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

DEBEQUE – DeBeque residents showed up in force at a meeting of oil and gas companies, state regulators, and local and state government officials Thursday to protest plans to expand a production water disposal operation south of town. They spoke up at a meeting Thursday of the Northwest Oil and Gas Forum at the DeBeque Community Center.The town of about 450 has seen burgeoning oil and gas development to the north in the Roan Creek area. What had the residents riled up were plans by Dalbo, a trucking company headquartered in Vernal, Utah, that hauls water used in the drilling and production of natural gas wells.Dalbo has seven evaporation ponds south of DeBeque where it disposes of production water, which nearby residents say emit noxious odors that have made some people sick.Frank Lamm, who spoke for the Citizens for Responsible Energy Development, said he’s had to tape his windows shut in the summer because of the fumes coming off the ponds. “There are people in the area with symptoms of chemical poisoning,” he said.Dalbo, which plans to expand its operations south of DeBeque, “will put in ponds a few hundred yards from people’s homes,” he said.Lamm asked the gathering, which included some commissioners and staff with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), to consider prohibiting any more ponds in the DeBeque area, and in future require ponds to be located “six miles from private land … so we don’t have little kids coming down with leukemia,” he said.Others worried the ponds are not properly regulated.”My concern is if the evaporation ponds go in will they be monitored,” said Connie Yeates. “I understand we need to have these, but do they need to go unregulated?”Jennifer Mattox, an air quality inspector for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Air Quality Control Division who was at Thursday’s meeting, assured the DeBeque citizens the Dalbo ponds were on her radar screen.”(They) will be inspected soon,” she said.COGCC director Brian Macke said the citizens’ concerns would be heard but pointed out that Thursday’s meeting was not an official commission hearing. He also encouraged the group to contact the state hazardous and solid waste department to lodge a complaint.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 16605dgray@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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