CDPHE letter addresses Battlement Mesa residents’ health, safety, and welfare

Battlement Mesa winter quotation

Today brought another interesting development in the Battlement Mesa saga. GarCo oil & gas liaison Kirby Wynn released a letter from CDPHE oil & gas liaison Kent Kuster to COGCC Director Matt Lepore regarding recommendations for Ursa’s proposed well pads inside the Battlement Mesa PUD.

Garfield County had previously requested a consultation on Ursa’s proposed well pad sites from the Colorado Dept of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE). Last month Commissioners directed Kirby Wynn to include a request for the COGCC to consider the CDPHE’s findings and recommendations in his comments regarding Ursa’s Battlement Mesa permit applications. According to the letter the consultation was also “triggered by … the adoption of the rule implementing the Governor’s Oil and Gas Task Force Recommendation 17 …”

The four-page letter from the CDPHE outlines 5 potential issues and recommends specific actions to address areas of concern as “conditions of approval to minimize adverse impacts to public health, safety, welfare and the environment” from drilling operations on Ursa’s proposed well pads.

  1. Determining the Location of the BMC B Well Pad:  recommends Ursa be required to obtain expert analysis to determine high water line of Colorado River in proximity to well pad
  2. Locating a Class II Injection on URSA’s BMC B Well Pad:  recommends denying permit for injection well and storage tanks on site due to long-term risk to water supply
  3. Odor and Air Quality Concerns:  recommends 12 specific odor and air pollution mitigations
  4. Spill Response:  recommends 5 specific on-site requirements to reduce environmental impacts
  5. Stormwater Protections:  recommends after a storm and weekly stormwater inspections

In the letter, the CDPHE commends Garfield County and Ursa for all their efforts. Yet it’s clear the lengthy and detailed list of recommendations go beyond Ursa’s “best management practices” promises, and even beyond Garfield County’s conditions approval in order to minimize impacts and protect Battlement Mesa residents.

Click here to read the letter that includes the full list of CDPHE recommendations.

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