COGCC rejects Ursa’s proposal that county planners already approved

Ronde Settle, a resident of a mobile home park in Battlement Mesa, looks down a hill toward where Ursa Resources hopes to drill natural gas wells. Settle is worried about the proposed pad’s proximity to her home. [Source: Daily Sentinel]

Updated 11/1/17 – 4:05 p.m.

Catch up on the latest news about this story with KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh: Ursa Battlement Mesa Drilling Permit Rejected 

Ursa Resources is in the process of refiling their proposal to drill near Tamarisk Village mobile home park after the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) rejected the application last week.

Drilling pad proposal near homes rejected
Ursa plans to fix notification oversight, resubmit application

Ursa’s latest plans for drilling in Battlement Mesa include another well pad with 25 wells, plus an injection well and pipelines, which will be located adjacent to the mobile home park. Almost all the mobile homes in Tamarisk Village are within 1,000 feet of one of the proposed well pads. Eight of them are within 500 feet.

At the Garfield County planning commission meeting last month, Matt Sura (attorney for Battlement Concerned Citizens and the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance) offered a strong argument that Ursa had failed to notify adjacent property owners but the commissioners dismissed that argument saying they felt notice was properly made.

The COGCC rejection came after Sura wrote a letter on behalf of the citizens in which he pointed out that Ursa had failed to properly notify residents about the proposal which is a violation of state rules.

“Ursa’s flagrant disregard of COGCC notice requirements are harming those closest to their proposed pad: Tamarisk Village residents,” Matt Sura, an attorney for Battlement Concerned Citizens and the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, wrote to the agency …

… Sura wrote that Ursa failed to send a required notice of its proposal to building unit owners within 1,000 feet of the pad. It instead only sent the notice to landowners within that distance, although mobile home owners also are building unit owners under the state’s rules, he says. While Ursa worked to comply with a requirement to obtain waivers from residents within 500 feet of the location, Sura says they weren’t provided a required notice containing specific information about the proposal before they signed the waivers, and one resident has rescinded the waiver.

“These rules ensure residents receive notice as to what is being proposed in their neighborhood, how to engage in discussions with the operator, and how to comment on the issue with the decision-maker. If these rules are not followed, the people who are potentially most impacted will have been denied their due process,” Sura wrote to the state.

The real problem here is that back in June, Ursa insisted on a concurrent review process with the county and state. Even though Battlement residents strenuously objected, the state allowed it. As the situation exists now, the county planning commission has approved a proposal that the state has rejected.

Battlement Mesa resident and PE, Bob Arrington described the dilemma in this Facebook comment: “Right now it only means Ursa has to reapply and correct the deficits. There is the possibility it could undermine the county attorney’s interpretation that the mobile homes do not house residents to be notified. There is the catch 22 that county and state have when they have the language that requires applicant swearing to having complied with all levels of law and requirements. Moreover, it points to a reason that simultaneous applications are risky for an operator and they really need to go up the levels government in sequence.”

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One Comment on “COGCC rejects Ursa’s proposal that county planners already approved”

  1. frackfiles Says:

    The bastards who own these business’s care nothing for those who live on the surface of the land. They have bought and paid the government representatives and officials to do whatever it takes to poison those who call Colorado their home, I hope they choke on the dirty profits they make.

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