COGCC rejects Ursa form regarding buffer zone
As Ursa Operating Co. continues to push applications through Garfield County’s decision-making boards, state officials recently rejected one of the Ursa’s forms pertaining to one of its well pads because pre-application notices were not sent to all building owners in the buffer zone.
“The owners of the individual mobile homes in the Tamarisk Village mobile home park are ‘building unit owners’ and they should have received notice of Ursa’s application,” Matt Sura, attorney for Battlement Concerned Citizens and Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, wrote in a letter sent this month to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
COGCC determined that mobile homeowners should have been notified about Well Pad A and were not.
Ursa Vice President of Business Development Don Simpson said new state rules regarding Large Urban Mitigation Areas changed definitions for building unit owners, which is where the confusion came in.
He said that last Friday pre-application notices were sent to the mobile homeowners. Homeowners will have 30 days to weigh in after the notice is sent out, after which will start a 40-day comment period.
While the issue of the buffer zone was brought up at the September county Planning Commission hearing that approved of Ursa’s projects, it was determined then that Ursa had not violated the county’s notice policy.
However, COGCC Rule 305.A states that notice of intent to conduct oil and gas operations must be sent to all building unit owners within 1,000 of the buffer zone.
COGCC defines a “Residential Building Unit as a building or structure designed for use as a place of residency” and includes manufactured, mobile and modular homes, Sura’s letter said.
While Ursa will have several applications in front of the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners this month, the A Pad, which includes a small injection well, remains the project’s most controversial.
The application to allow a small injection well in the Battlement Mesa residential area had the closest vote at September’s Planning Commission hearing with the commission voting 4-3 to approve the project.
Though Ursa’s county approvals are moving forward with BOCC hearings scheduled for Nov. 14 and Nov. 16, “work on this location will not commence until permits are received from both local government and the COGCC,” stated the COGCC rejection notice.