After more than two years of meetings and negotiations, Ursa Resources initiated the permitting process to drill 53 wells within the community of Battlement Mesa.
In June, Ursa submitted a preliminary land use application to Garfield County to drill 53 natural gas wells on two pads and to construct an associated pipeline system in the southwestern quadrant of the community. The application was recently deemed technically complete by Garfield County Community Development Director Fred Jarman and will be available for public review prior to a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting in Glenwood Springs on September 23rd.
To prepare for this hearing and the public process, WCC is working with Battlement Mesa residents to host a community meeting on August 31st.
“This is the moment we have been anticipating for many years,” said Dave Devanney of Battlement Concerned Citizens (BCC). “We know this is just the beginning of the process with more documents to come. But now is the time for Battlement Mesa residents to join with us to make our concerns known and do what we can to limit the potential harm from this proposal.”
He went on to say, “We hope that other stakeholders and decision makers are prepared to review this document with the well-being of Battlement Mesa residents foremost in their minds. No application should be accepted that does not adequately protect the health , environment and quality of life of our community.”
This application is the start of “Phase One” in a comprehensive drilling plan within Battlement Mesa, a plan with four phases but an unknown lifespan of impacts for the residents. The full plan will drill an estimated 94 wells on five pads from within the community. Numerous pipelines and injection wells will also be built to move the gas and dispose of waste water.
Ursa has been hosting a series of community meetings to try and address people’s concerns about the development of a large scale industrial facility in their neighborhood, however residents are still unhappy with the proposal are not convinced that Ursa is justified in drilling inside Battlement Mesa’s boundaries.
BCC’s specific concerns about the current application range from health and safety issues to general worries about their quality of life. Particularly concerning is the proximity of one of the pads to the community’s water intake on the Colorado River. Noise is also an issue, as the permit states that Ursa will be held to industrial noise standards even though the development is occurring within an area zoned residential.
These issues, as well as concerns about community consultation, traffic, emergency response, and air quality monitoring will be at the heart of BCC’s comments on this application.
Join us on August 31st at the Grand Valley Fire Station to learn more! Refreshments will be served at 6:00 p.m. and the meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Carpooling is encouraged as parking is limited.