Letter: Battlement injection well
The Garfield County Planning Commission must not approve Battlement Mesa Partners’ request, on behalf of Ursa Resources, to change the PUD to allow for an injection well near the Colorado River.
Storage of toxic wastewater near Battlement Mesa community’s drinking water intake puts public health at risk. There is no geologic reason for Ursa to place a toxic wastewater injection well near the Colorado River. Injection wells are not property (mineral) rights. They don’t need to be placed on or near well pads. Pipelines can move wastewater to any location.
There is no reasonable explanation for Battlement Mesa Partners to seek to violate covenants that are supposed to protect residents from risks to health, safety and property values. Ursa Resources and Battlement Mesa Partners are the only entities that would benefit. Battlement Mesa residents have property rights, too.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment agrees with residents, stating that Class II injection wells don’t belong in residential areas. In a letter to COGCC’s Matt Lepore on Feb. 29, 2016, CDPHE oil and gas liaison Kent Kuster raised concerns about the location of a Class II injection well on the proposed B pad saying: “URSA’s BMC B well pad includes a Class II injection well with six produced water storage tanks that the Department believes creates a significant contamination risk to the public water supply for Battlement Mesa.”
In a second letter on March 16, Kuster stated that the CDPHE recommended denial of Ursa’s request for a variance.
The creation of an “injection well zone” — as though innocuous as a soccer field — could open the door to a dystopian future with toxic wastewater wells along the Colorado River watershed. One injection well is never enough.
The reasoning behind zoning is to protect residents from incompatible land uses. I cannot fathom anything more incompatible than a toxic wastewater injection well and a community’s water supply the Colorado River.
Attend the Planning Commission meeting, 6 p.m. Feb. 8. Stand with Battlement Mesa residents to protect their water supply and our Colorado River.
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