Submit comments now for Ursa’s Battlement Mesa Phase II application

Battlement Mesa residents are gearing up as Ursa moves forward with Phase II of their drilling plan. Ursa has submitted an application to the COGCC to drill another 55 wells on 2 well pads plus another injection well, all located within the community. This project is being tracked closely by local environmental groups headed by Western Colorado Congress (WCC).

This week Ursa provided Garfield County commissioners with an update as reported in the Post Independent:

According to the Ursa report, no completions activity [fracking] will occur in the next three months for Phase I development.

Ursa has already drilled half of 28 planned wells at the BMC D pad. It will drill 24 at the BMC B pad. Both pads are located off River Bluff Road, near the Battlement Mesa Water Treatment facility. Once the wells are drilled, Ursa can begin completions and production and move forward with Phase II.

“We are beginning the process with permitting and that takes time, but we’d like to get started on Phase II in 2018,” said Don Simpson, Ursa vice president of business development. “Two hundred total wells are needed to drill the PUD area under lease to Ursa. In addition, we have another 99 planned in the area under lease to Ursa and surrounding the PUD.”

Of the 299 total wells Ursa has in the area to date, 185 have already been drilled, approximately 62 percent of the total wells planned.

Most of the wells are being drilled from pads outside the PUD, according to Simpson.

“If approved and drilled as planned, 107 wells, or 36 percent of the total wells in the area, will be drilled from four pads within the PUD,” he added.

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PRESS RELEASE

Ursa is proposing another 55 gas wells and a waste injection well within Battlement Mesa

Ursa has submitted the Phase II plan to the COGCC. The application is now open for public comments.

Ursa’s proposal is open for public comment until July 29.

Submit your comment today!

The applications to build two more well pads with an additional 55 wells in Battlement Mesa and one toxic waste injection well are now before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) for review.

The clock is ticking!

The permits for both L and A pads have been deemed complete and are open for public comment until 2:30 p.m. on July 29. But don’t wait till the last minute, the sooner you get your comments in, the better.

L Pad is proposed in Battlement Mesa off of North Battlement Parkway. After two to three years of drilling there will be 31 gas wells. The Grace Bible Church and childcare facility is just over 1,000 feet from the location.

A Pad is proposed in Battlement Mesa adjacent to Tamarisk Village. After two or three years of drilling there will be 24 gas wells and one injection well and 12 water and condensate tanks. The closest home will be less than 500 feet from the proposed location and there will be more than 25 homes within 1,000 feet of the location.

There are two ways you can comment to the COGCC on these permits:

  1. Use the COGCC website to comment via Microsoft Silverlight. This requires you to download a Microsoft program onto your computer so you can use COGCC’s “e-form” comment sheet. Learn how to do this here.
  2. Email us your comments and we will upload them into the “e-form” for you. Include any questions you may have. Send comments to:   ursacomments@wccongress.org.

Below are areas where the permits could be improved, so please consider including them in your comments to the COGCC.

TOPICS FOR COMMENTS

Location & Proximity

  • Ursa has provided an “alternative location analysis” in the state applications. We maintain that these minerals could be accessed outside of the PUD with current drilling technology and higher drilling angles.
  • The A pad is particularly bad. It is within 500 feet of homes and in violation of COGCC’s own setback regulations.
  • There is no mitigating a bad location and so many wells so close to a large number of homes is a bad location. Distance is the best protection against both nuisance and potential emissions. Ursa’s equipment should be moved further from people’s homes.

Water Quality and Injection Well

  • The COGCC should deny Ursa’s request to place an injection well on the A Pad and thus within the PUD boundaries. Toxic injection wells do not belong in residential areas or so close to the Colorado River.

Air Quality

  • If these pads are to be allowed so close to homes, Ursa must do everything possible to protect the health of residents.
  • To protect air quality, they should: 1) use technologies with at last 95% efficiency on tanks that emit over 2 tons of volatile organic compounds per year;  and 2) commit to repair detected leaks within 24 hours of discovery or shut down the well.
  • Ursa should be required to use Ward Diesel No Smoke filters on all diesel equipment on Battlement Mesa well sites.
  • Results of site specific air monitors should be publicly available and reported to the BOCC on a regular basis, including specificity about the frequency of reporting results.

Best Available Technology

  • COGCC should include all applicable conditions of approval and best management practices COGCC and Garfield County included for B and D pads.
  • According to newly revised rules, Ursa should be required to regularly evaluate and employ the “best available technology” available to lessen impacts on residents, including any new technology available from the past year.

Complaints

  • All complaints received and investigated by Ursa should be published online in the same manner as COGCC’s complaint process. Residents deserve transparency to understand what is happening in their community and how their comments are being addressed.

Nuisance

  • Noise, odor, etc Specifically for the L Pad, cessation of activity should occur by request of the Grace Bible Church out of respect for specific activities (services, weddings, funerals)
  • Ursa should be held accountable for keeping noise levels below COGCC standards, not as a voluntary activity but as a requirement.
  • Timing limitations should be applied to more than just completions. All disruptive activities such as construction of pipelines and installation of pipelines and other drill pad infrastructure should be limited to the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  • All outdoor storage facilities for fuel, raw materials and products shall be enclosed by a fence or wall adequate to conceal such facilities from adjacent property.
  • Many residents of Battlement Mesa have already experienced impacts from noise and odors from current development and continue to be impacted. Ursa must provide a plan on how to address these impacts for permanent solutions for the community rather than treating them as isolated incidents.
  • If you have been impacted, make sure to tell the COGCC about your experience.

Reclamation

  • After Ursa has established re-vegetation on disturbed sites, Battlement Mesa Company should be required to supply irrigation water to maintain vegetation and ground cover.

Remember to get your comments in before July 29 by 2:30 p.m.!

Don’t hesitate to contact these folks for help or if you have questions.
Dave Devanney with Battlement Concerned Citizens: 970-285-2441
Leslie Robinson with GVCA: 970-618-0890
Emily Hornback with Western Colorado Congress: 970-250-7650

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