Letter: Trouble with drilling plans
I believe the article by Ryan Hoffman (9/24/15) on the Planning Commission Hearing on drilling in the residential community of Battlement Mesa missed important points.
Questions were raised that should be answered. First, why did the Garfield County Planning and Zoning Commission approve the villages of Willow Ridge, Stone Ridge and Valley View if they knew it would become an industrial site with gas wells drilled very close to them?
Second, why not ask for a comprehensive drilling and pipeline plan? Currently Ursa’s plan is for five well pads hosting 194 wells in a residential community. However, only two well pads and a pipeline application are being reviewed. The current application concerns only approximately one third of them. The location of the other three well pads and pipelines were not shared at the hearing. The occupations, as they are called, could and are planned to go on for years. Battlement Mesa is not an industrial area; it is a residential one.
Finally, this is not a question of the virtue of oil and gas or any particular operator. It is a question of why the Planning Commission approved those residential villages if they were aware of future impacts. Most Battlement Mesa residents were not aware of them, and had been told that there would be no drilling in their community.
The technology does exist to extract the minerals from outside the Public Unit Development. Ursa’s drilling is unable to do this. Should this be Battlement Mesa’s problem or Ursa’s?
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It seems irresponsible to allow for industrial activity with unknown impacts to go on for an unknown number of years.
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