URSA support for Garfield County air monitoring program OK’d
Ursa Operating Company continued its support for Garfield County’s air monitoring efforts on Monday, agreeing to contribute $55,000 as a condition of approval for the company’s natural gas development in Battlement Mesa.
The oil and gas operator made a similar contribution prior to the start of its Phase I operations. Monday’s contribution was made before beginning Phase II operations, which the county approved in November.
Garfield County maintains full oversight of the air monitoring program, designing, owning and operating it, while Ursa helps to pay the tab.
Started in March 2017, the program looks at the air quality impacts from Ursa’s operations in the Battlement Mesa PUD.
Ursa’s Phase I operations in the Battlement Mesa PUD included the BMC B and D pads. Phase II operations will include the A pad, which will have a small injection well, the L pad, and temporary water storage facility at the F pad.
While samples were collected at the D pad during Phase I operations, samples will be collected at the A pad during Phase II.
The sampler is designed to collect 78 volatile organic compounds based on EPA methods, according to documents submitted to the county commissioners.
Results of air monitoring will be publicly available and reported to the board on a regular basis.
Last month, Garfield County Environmental Specialist Morgan Hill presented some of the county’s first findings on the air monitoring for Ursa’s Phase I operations, indicating little risk in any of the samples.
According to the data, all air concentrations of individual and combined volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were below long-term, non-cancer health guideline values established by state and federal agencies.
VOCs are carbon-based and hydrogen-based chemicals that exist in the gas phase or can evaporate from liquids. Sources of VOCs include vegetation, various aspects of oil and natural gas development and production, and traffic.
Hill said she hopes to provide a comprehensive annual report to the board once it is completed. March 2018 will be the one year mark for the program.
To date, Ursa has contributed $105,000 toward this program for monitoring during Phase 1 and Phase II of its operations.