Bad air quality in Silt

During the past two weeks the air quality in Silt has been really bad, definitely worse this week. My sense is the air quality has been gradually deteriorating over the past month, it’s just that now it’s impossible to ignore. The intensity comes and goes, but it is usually the worst between 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. on certain days. Closing doors and windows and staying in the house with the air conditioner running reduces the intensity of the symptoms – though hardly a practical way to live. We have been experiencing winds out of the south and southwest, which in turns pushes the toxic fumes from the well pads toward Silt. The intensity is definitely connected to the wind direction.

Symptoms include(strongest in the early morning and/or during outdoor exercise): headaches, nausea, dizziness, nervousness-irritability-tremors, eyes-ears-nose-throat irritation, metallic and/or sour gas taste in mouth, dry mouth, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain.

Not everyone experiences the same symptoms. If you live in or around Silt and you are experiencing the symptoms of bad air quality, or smell foul odors, please do not hesitate to call the COGCC complaint line: 970-285-0322

First you leave a message. Be as specific about your symptoms as you can. Not everyone can smell the odors (I can) but if you do, try to track down where the odor is strongest. The more information you can provide the better the chance you will get a call back and they can investigate.

Thursday, 5/31 — I tracked a sour gas odor to the well pad on CR 246 behind Alpine Garden Center (the well is NOT on owner Toni Shuster’s property so don’t complain to her). That well is currently being fracked. There is also another new frack on the mesa above 346. And I think they are still fracking a well on Dry Hollow Rd near Mineota Estates. I’m sure there are more fracks in progress – just don’t know which ones.

Tuesday 6/5 — I called the COGCC complaint line in Rifle and left a message. Shaun Kellerby called back. I told him about the odor from the well on 346 and described our family members’ symptoms which have intensified since May 29. He pretty much agreed the air quality is bad. He lives in Battlement Mesa. “The air quality is bad there too,” he said. Cold comfort that was.

Kellerby said he would check out the well pad. He advised I contact the county. Then said he would be meeting with the county that same day so I suggested he could mention it. See the thing is, he used to meet with Jim Rada but since he resigned Kellerby didn’t know whom the county would send to the meeting. From the sounds of things there is little actual communication or coordination between the county and the local COGCC office.

Thursday night 6/7 – A diesel-like odor wafted through town, like everyone had left the gas caps off their diesel pickups. Tod followed the odor to the east end of town. He said it was really strong up on Mesa View and Eagles View.

Friday 6/8 – I awoke at 4 a.m. with a headache. Tod and I both felt nausea, shortness of breath and EENT symptoms. I called Shaun Kellerby and left a message about the odor on Thursday nite and our symptoms.

As I post this he has not returned my call. I will update when I hear something. It will probably be a few days because we are heading up to the mountains in search of fresh air so I will be off the grid.

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