BBC is flaring one stack

Antero is NOT Flaring

I’m having one of those weeks where I discover if I shake enough trees, eventually the truth falls out.

First this just in from Jim Felton, BBC’s (Bill Barrett Corp) Communications Manager:

“Only one flare stack is ours (Dixon pad), and we are planning on being done there within a month, i.e. mid-October (operative word here: “planning”). I feel it worth mentioning we are only flaring from there 4-5 days a month. After Dixon, we would LIKELY be out of the area for the foreseeable future (i.e. for the next several months and perhaps well into 2013). That said, like any business, market conditions (in this case, higher prices for natural gas) could prompt a change.”

I always cringe whenever anyone in the industry says “no new drilling activity in the foreseeable future.” Seems like whenever they say that another rig goes up near Silt.

BBC’s flare stack is on the Dixon pad which is located on the ridge to the right of  Antero’s well pad where the rig went up two weeks ago. It’s behind and slightly east of Divide Creek Animal Hospital.

I (and others) have also seen a third flare stack behind the Dixon pad. It’s visible from the west end of town. I don’t have any photos of this one.

In COGCC Executive Director Matt Lepore’s own words: “The COGCC encourages companies to capture these gas streams rather than flare them, but capture is not absolutely required in all cases.” Remember this, Antero and BBC could have followed best management practices and captured rather than flared to mitigate the impacts. In fact I remember a time when Antero promised they would never do this to Silt. Antero and BBC could have given a shit about the human beings who live and work here. But Antero and BBC chose not to.

I am in contact with Kirby Wynn.  I requested more information. I think we are entitled to the following:

Who owns the other stacks? How often and how much longer will they be flaring?

Will there be more flare stacks? If so, how many, for how long?

Can we get a flaring schedule? I offered to be the contact person for this information and will post it on my blog and give it to the town staff.

As I said to Kirby: In Denver they often have poor air quality but they have air quality monitoring that provides important information about when it’s advisable to stay indoors. We’re on our own here. We have no way of knowing when the air is bad. We are at the mercy of Antero and BBC. It would be nice to have some idea when they will be flaring so we can plan accordingly.

For instance BBC has been flaring every morning this week at the same time I go to Dogland (River Park) to walk my dogs. The air is foul and makes me sick. If I knew ahead of time they will be flaring – instead of this aggravating guessing game – I could walk my dogs at another time or just quit going to Dogland altogether. I’m sick (literally) of getting caught out in this crappy air.

Kirby said he should be able to get all the information I’m asking for, even a flaring schedule. Please, if there is any other information that you think we need to know contact me:

At the moment for some unknown reason, air quality monitoring in the town of Silt is not even on the table. Maybe the town will do air quality monitoring next year, if they get a grant, if the board approves it – you know, when pigs fly. Rick Aluise is all for air quality monitoring and has been for several years. He doesn’t get any support from the other board members, including Mayor Dave. I think it’s up to the citizens to demand it. Garfield County won’t even consider it until after 2015. I can’t hold my breath that long.

That doesn’t mean I’m giving up on air quality monitoring. It means I need to appeal to a higher power.

Regarding my email discussion with Matt Lepore – what can I say? So what it’s not H2S we’re inhaling. Are we supposed to be relieved it’s only sulfur dioxide? Good grief. That’s like sucking on the exhaust pipe of your car. No wonder I feel like crap. Read all about sulfur dioxide here.  

I don’t agree with anything Lepore said/wrote. He avoided the real issue which proves that just as EnCana put the best face on oil & gas drilling in Garfield County for his benefit last week, so he represents the COGCC putting their best face forward by making this personable, PR guy their new executive director. Too good to be true.

And what are we to take away from those articles he recommended? In the Anthropocene article are we the indigenous peoples being driven from our land? As for Fukushima, it’s has only been a little over a year. I happen to think it’s far too soon for anyone to say we dodged a bullet there – environmentally or public health-wise.

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