North Fork drilling comments due April 16

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North Fork drilling comments due April 16

Your voice is needed — tell BLM to reduce drilling impacts from Bull Mountain Unit!

BullMntUnit_CitizensforHealthyCommunityThe Bureau of Land Management is considering a master development plan for a large-scale drilling proposal in the upper North Fork Valley. The Bull Mountain Unit, proposed by Houston-based SG Interests, calls for 146 new gas wells and associated infrastructure across nearly 20,000 acres between Paonia Reservoir and McClure Pass.

Public comments are needed to urge the BLM to consider a conservation-oriented alternative to include increased bonding, baseline water sampling and other mitigation measures.

These are federal minerals, so your voice counts even if you don’t live in the area. Please take a minute to support our members and allies in the North Fork! Please send your comments to bullmtneis@blm.gov before the April 16 deadline.

Our friends at Citizens for a Healthy Community have been hard at work digesting the BLM’s Environmental Impact Statement on the proposal and helping organize comments. Check out their Bull Mtn information sheet for suggested points to make in your comments.

The basics:

  • The plan submitted by leaseholder SG Interests proposes 146 new gas wells and 4 waste water disposal wells on 36 well pads (EIS at ES-7).
  • It also calls for 53 miles of upgrades to existing roads, 16 miles of new road construction, 8 miles of new “cross-country” pipeline construction, and 4 new compressor stations.
  • SG proposes to drill the wells in 6 years, with 27 wells drilled each year, using 242.5 million gallons of fresh water, and total recycled and produced water use of 565.7 million gallons (EIS at ES-7 to ES-8).

Environmental Impact Statement summary:

The BLM’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) considers three alternatives from which it can choose:

  • Alternative A – No Action, which is what would happen if the BLM chooses to disapprove the MDP.
  • Alternative B – Proposed Action, which is what SG Interests has proposed to do.
  • Alternative C – Modified Action, which is similar to Alternative B with some additional mitigation measures and restrictions.

It is important to note that if the BLM selects Alternative A, that doesn’t mean that development won’t happen. Rather, development could be proposed through a piecemeal process, which would mean piecemeal environmental analysis by the BLM.

Alternative C is preferable in order to plan for the cumulative impacts of the development and to require additional mitigation measures and best management practices that will reduce impacts if development goes forward.

For more information:

  • Start here for CHC’s info sheet with suggested points to make in your comments
  • Click here for a two-page fact sheet and map
  • Click here for the PowerPoint presentation from CHC’s Feb. 6th Open House
  • Click here to watch public comments from the BLM’s Feb. 10th public meeting

Many thanks to CHC for their work on this important issue!

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