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January 24, 2018

Support Community Defense Fund!

Take a stand to protect Colorado's neighborhoods from the impacts of oil & gas development.

"If they can drill that close to a neighborhood in Battlement Mesa, it can happen anywhere in the state." - Dave Devanney, chair of Battlement Concerned Citizens

Donate to the Battlement Mesa Community Defense Fund now!

How close is too close?

340 feet. This is how close Ursa Resources wants to drill 24 natural gas wells next to a home in Battlement Mesa.

The State of Colorado’s rules require that oil and gas development must be at least 500 feet away from the nearest home, however one operator wants to drill even closer. To accomplish this, they must obtain a variance from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to break the rules. If granted, this decision will set a dangerous precedent for the rest of Colorado, sending the clear message that existing protections can be discarded at any time.

Will you help us keep up the fight for public health and safety by contributing to our Battlement Mesa Community Defense Fund? (above) Even $5 will help us keep going in this David vs. Goliath struggle. 

The COGCC has the power to deny the variance and the entire proposal, however it has not denied a new permit in 20 years.  We can stop that trend here. Even the Colorado Department of Health and the Environment has stated that 500 feet is too close to drill.

Battlement Mesa residents are determined to protect their homes. And by standing up for public health and safety in western Colorado, they are standing up for protections for all Colorado residents.

What’s the story?

  • The operator, Ursa Resources, is proposing 24 gas wells and tanks as close as 340 feet from the closest home.
  • State law requires a minimum setback of 500 feet from homes. Yet, Ursa is requesting a VARIANCE from the COGCC to drill much closer than the state law allows. The COGCC has the authority to grant or deny this exemption from the rules. Will they ever say “No!” to a bad proposal, or will industry get what it wants every time?
  • If approved, “Pad A” in Battlement Mesa -- with its 24 gas wells -- will be within 340 feet of one home, 500 feet of seven homes and 1,000 feet of 51 homes in the Tamarisk Village mobile home park where working families and retirees live.
  • The Colorado River, which supplies municipal water for 40 million people, is within 1,000 feet of the proposed Pad A, with a river slough just 660 feet away.
  • The well pad location is 900 feet from the water treatment plant that provides clean drinking water to the Battlement community. Approval now would allow other municipal water resources to be endangered by future variances from the COGCC.
  • This is one of the first “Large Urban Mitigation Area” (LUMA) drilling proposals in Colorado. The Governor’s Task Force created the LUMA regulations specifically to avoid urban areas – not to target them. What happens here will have repercussions in other urban and residential areas.
  • Although LUMA regulations call for companies to conduct analysis on other potential sites of lesser impact, the COGCC has not required Ursa to consider other locations. This makes a mockery of the LUMA regulations.
  • And there’s a fracking wastewater injection well! Ursa is also planning a fracking wastewater injection well on the well Pad A.
  • Ursa Resources has misled residents and failed to notify adjacent mobile home owners of this proposal as required by law, and was required to resubmit its proposal when locals filed a complaint with the COGCC.

Take a stand to protect Colorado’s neighborhoods from the impacts of oil & gas development. Donate to the Battlement Mesa Community Defense Fund now! 

“If they can drill that close to a neighborhood in Battlement Mesa, it can happen anywhere in the state.” – Dave Devanney, chair of Battlement Concerned Citizens.

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