Bill Barrett plans to flare through October

Paul Reaser called me Wednesday afternoon (8/29). He is the Gasfield Co environmental health program manager. I didn’t record the conversation. I’m not in the habit of doing that. Guess I should start. This one was a doozy.

To the best of my recollection I will tell you what Paul Reaser said. It was a lengthy and at times contentious discussion, so I will give you the highlights and do my best not deluge you with all the lies, platitudes and bullshit — only the lies, platitudes and bullshit as they relate to the urgent issue before us – Bill Barrett’s flare stacks.

Paul Reaser is not in the office this week because he’s on vacation. So he interrupted his vacation to return my call (I called him Tuesday 8/28 and left a lengthy message). Big of him. He said he contacted Kirby Wynn, Gasfield Co Oil & Gas Liaison, about my complaint about Bill Barrett’s flare stacks on Mineota Ridge. According to Paul, Kirby talked to the folks at Bill Barrett.

Paul was very upbeat. He really feels like he’s on this. He really thought he was bringing me a whole bushel basket of good news.

This is what he told me (paraphrased):

As we speak, Bill Barrett is already scaling back the flaring. And the “good news” is they will be gradually scaling back to flaring only 3 to 5 times a month through the month of October. Bill Barrett claims those wells are under so much pressure they can’t off-gas any other way or else they would be putting way too many VOCs into the air. By flaring they burn off the really bad stuff and therefore reduce the VOCs by almost 98%.

What I interpret this to mean is the wells are under so much pressure they will blow if they don’t flare. In other words flaring those toxins into the air is saving us from a major catastrophe – a well blowout — which would saturate the air with toxins. I guess that’s where they get the 98% they pulled out of their gas-addled brains.

Yeah, I know. Makes you want to vomit.

In response to scaling back to 3 to 5 times a month, I asked Paul, “You call that good news? Do you know what it’s like to breathe this toxic air? Who is going to monitor them to make sure they do what they say?”

No direct response to my questions. Instead Paul said Bill Barrett is doing everything they can to minimize the impacts and that’s when he went into the part about how great it is they are flaring instead of dumping more VOCs into the air.

To which I replied, “You expect me to believe that?” Paul said he didn’t call to argue with me. I said, “I’m not arguing with you Paul. We’re having a discussion. We’re talking about public health here. This is serious. We can’t breathe this air in Silt. It’s toxic.”

Then he went into his pitch about the CSU study the county is working on. I said that study won’t have results until 2015, and won’t address public health impacts. “The flaring is happening right now,” I said. “It’s affecting air quality and impacting public health right now. We need air quality monitoring in Silt right now.”

Paul said that air quality monitoring is costly and the county can’t put up “14 or 15” monitors all over the county.

I said, “We’re only asking for one – not 14 or 15.”

Here’s the real shocker. Paul said the county did air quality monitoring in Silt several years ago. I think he said 2005. I have to admit I was so stunned by this part of our discussion I forgot to take notes. According to Paul Reaser, when they tested the air in Silt back then they didn’t find any problems with Silt’s air quality. The problems with air quality were up Dry Hollow/Divide Creek so that’s why they put the air quality monitor at the Melton Ranch in that area — the Bell-Melton station.

I interrupted him. “Wait a minute. You just said Garfield County has baseline air quality monitoring for the town of Silt. So you should get in here right now while this flaring is going on and find out what’s happening with our air.”

He said, “We would have to look into that.”

Then he went into his pitch for the CSU study again. I felt like I was going to lose my mind. But I held it together and waited patiently as he spewed the propaganda. He said, “It’s important for you to understand that with all the drilling activity in that immediate area [meaning Silt] we need to get a handle on how that’s affecting the air quality.”

But of course they won’t be testing for hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which I pointed out. And we had a little “discussion” about that.

I said, “The problem is, those flare stacks are emitting H2S and H2S is heavier than air, so it sinks down into river valley and permeates the air in town where we live.”

“I’m not going debate science with you,” Paul replied.

“That’s not up for debate,” I said. I didn’t have this in front of me at the time but you can read what OSHA says about the properties of H2S right here: OSHA Fact Sheet: Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

Unless Paul Reaser and Gasfield County don’t consider OSHA to be an accurate source of scientific information, the fact that H2S is heavier than air is NOT up for debate.

I ended the conversation this way, “We need to get air quality monitoring in Silt right now. People are sick. Nothing is more important than this. When you come back from your vacation I invite you to come to Silt and breathe our air.”

He laughed!

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6 Comments on “Bill Barrett plans to flare through October”

  1. Carl Mc Williams Says:

    The problem isn’t funding for an air monitoring system, there is over $18 Million in the GARCO OIL & GAS MITIGATION FUND. The problem is Garfield County Commissioners Samson, Martin and Jankovsky have violated their “Constitutional Oath of Office” and are continuing their servile goose-stepping at the orders of their energy corporate masters. Providing air monitoring of the BARRETT CORPORATION flaring above Silt would create a scientific data base that could be used by plaintiff’s legal counsel in civil proceedings seeking compensatory and punitive damages against BILL BARRETT CORPORATION. Be very cognizant; Samson, Martin and Jankovsky sold their souls long ago to those who flare VOC’s and hazardous materials into the air for all to breathe. Therefore, asking these three Commissioners to step up and demonstrate personal integrity and honor and fund an air monitoring project from tax payer money is quite futile. Samson, Martin and Jankovsky have no honor. It’s kinda like selling your birthright for a bowl of beans, if you know what I mean.

    That said, here is a suggestion for the readers of this blog who live in Silt: How about We the People play some legal hardball with the three goose-steppers and file an emergency “Writ of Mandamus” action in Colorado 9th District Court in Glenwood Springs, seeking a court ruling whereby Commissioners Samson, Martin & Jankovsky are ordered by the Court to begin air sampling of the BILL BARRETT flaring immediately. The “Writ of Mandamus” complaint should be pleaded as a “Constitutional Controversy” in that Samson, Martin & Jankovsky took a “Constitutional Oath” to defend the Colorado and US Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Under Article II, Section 1 of the Colorado Constitution “Vestment of political power”: “All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government, of right, originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.”

    Furthermore, for Colorado case law there is: Hudson v. Annear, 101 Colo. 551, 75 P.2d 587 (1938). “All governmental departments must answer to the people. It is well that all departments give pause, that they may not offend. All must answer to the people, in and from whom, as specifically set forth in this section, all political power is invested and derived.”

    Additionally, under Article II, Section 3 of the Colorado Constitution. “Inalienable rights”: “All persons have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.”

    Therefore, the legal basis for the Writ of Mandamus Court Order is that Samson, Martin and Jankovsky, swore an oath under the US Constitution under Article IV, Sec. 4, to provide a “Republican Form of Government”. Therefore We the People of Garfield County rely upon Samson, Martin and Jankovsky, who have a Constitutional Oath Obligation” to utilize public funds to protect and defend the health and lives or ourselves and our families as guaranteed to We the People at Article II, Sec. 3 of the Colorado Constitution. Because there is significant “Demonstrative Evidence” (the flarings) and “Direct Evidence” which is this blog by Peggy TIbbets and her statements about Garfield County’s Paul Reasor,I think this is quite doable and the only thing left to do is file the emergency Writ of Mandamus.

    We could file this Writ of Mandamus Pro Se, and then we wouldn’t need lawyers. If someone out there is interested, I could do the research over the Labor day weekend and draft the actual “Writ”. The Court filing fees would be needed and a formal demand for an emergency monitoring of the airborne emissions to the BOCC on Tuesday after labor day at the five minute segment would be absolutely necessary.

    What do you think?

  2. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    If we do something like this we need to have the town of Silt involved

  3. Beth Strudley Says:

    They must have a frac’ing script, because Jim Rada told me the same shit, just on a different day. Fracking Gassholes!

  4. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    Beth, the whole thing insults our collective intelligence. Reaser pats me on the head and says Barrett is scaling back on the flaring, blah, blah, blah. But the truth is those stacks are venting and spewing H2S, NOX, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, hydrocarbons, & other VOCs, 24/7 — whether or not they flare. They can’t get away with their bullshit anymore. We know what’s really going on here. We’re being poisoned.

  5. Beth Says:

    Oh I know, those sons of evil. We have videos of the stacks spewing waves of shit out, even when not lit……Like 60 feet into the air. They just lie, lie, lie. They should really get into the tissue business to wipe that perpetual brown shit off of their noses.

  6. Stacy Taylor Says:

    I have lived in the Leota Township since 1998. I thought it was the end of the earth it was so quiet. After Ouray you really fall of the edge of the earth. lol We are surrounded by oil wells now, frac’ing sites, flaring and bombarded by heavy equipment traveling continuously up and down our road at high speeds. They blow up sites that make the windows and wall rattle. When a well site is proposed that is close to us we get a letter from the Uintah County Planning Director to see if we have any concerns. The last one I wanted 3 air quality controller reports from unrelated areas as well as water tested on the green, white rivers and Brough, Pelican Lake reservoirs. I have never heard back and they blew up the site a few days ago. I guess that means they approved it. I requested in writing to be notified of the decision. Well the little stinkers dissed me! I fight this why? My daughter is severely handicapped, legally blind, asthma, and has super sensitive hearing. I will fight this to the death of me. The State of Utah, Uintah County Commissioner, and most of the local government are responsible for what is happening to the smog filled, filthy air that affects us. The rivers and irrigation ponds need to be checked to see if the frac’ing as infiltrated it and affects swimming, crops/land and air quality. Long statement but this really burns my butt. I want to move from here. Hey Bill Barrett Corp. It is your fault move me out of here!!!!!

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