Ursa is bribing some Battlement residents to sign a waiver

Ronde Settle, a resident of Tamarisk Village mobile home park in Battlement Mesa, looks down at the hillside where Ursa Resources plans to drill 24 gas wells. Settle is worried because the site is located within 1000 feet of her home. [Source: Daily Sentinel]

But not all Battlement residents …

Read the article in today’s Daily Sentinel:

Prospect of living by the rigs

BATTLEMENT MESA — Darrell and Ronde Settle stood Tuesday at the top of a hillside across the street from their mobile home and peered over the edge.

“What a trip,” Darrell Settle said.

“Wow,” added Ronde, as the two contemplated the idea that Ursa Resources is proposing drilling 24 natural gas wells and also operating a wastewater injection well at the bottom of the hill. The proposed pad is within 500 feet of some mobile homes along the hilltop, while some 50, including the Settles’ home, lie within 1,000 feet of the site.

“That’s going to get real noisy if it’s right here. It seems like sound comes up the hill real good,” said Darrell Settle, who hadn’t previously been aware of the proposed location.

Contemplating the proposal inspired Ronde Settle to say she wants to do her part to fight it.

“There’s land all over the place where they could drill, but they’re doing it right here where children are, where we live,” she said. “It takes down the value of your home and creates the possibility of getting sick” …

Let me explain what’s going on.

Ursa’s proposed new well pad will be within 500 feet of seven homes in Tamarisk Village mobile home park in Battlement Mesa, some as close as 340 feet from the pad. COGCC rules prohibit well pads within 500 feet of residences. Ursa would need to obtain a waiver from the COGCC in order to get their application approved at the state level. So Ursa reps are going door-to-door offering residents who live within 500 feet a payoff to sign a waiver saying they don’t object to drilling that close to their homes. Ursa will then present those waivers to the COGCC in order to obtain their own waiver to break the rules.

Here’s the kicker, the bribe consists of Ursa paying the residents’ lot rent for 6 months. So it’s not like they get cash and can then move away. Nope. They’re stuck there and they will be poisoned. It’s blood money. But as explained in the article, they don’t feel they have any choice.

To be perfectly clear, no one who lives beyond the 500-foot setback is being offered a dime even though everyone in Tamarisk Village, as well as the greater Battlement Mesa community will be impacted by the project.

The residents being bribed are the same ones the county neglected to send notices about Ursa’s 24-well proposal in their front yards.

At the Planning Commission meeting last week, commissioners dismissed that argument saying they felt notice was properly made.

Yeah. That’s right. Last week Ursa VP Don Simpson told the Daily Sentinel: “We went for the owners of the lots and the people renting there, so we knocked on every trailer door there and got waivers.”

No decision was reached on the Ursa proposal that night and the hearing was continued to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 26.

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