WCC’s Garfield County Chapter:
Grand Valley Citizens Alliance
We choose to live in a beautiful area of western Garfield County that happens to be resource-rich with natural gas, shale oil, crude oil, coal, and other energy-producing resources. For nearly 100 years, locals have been pricked, prodded, drilled, fracked, mined and even bombed in the attempts to extract these minerals. Formed in 1997, the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance has extensive experience when it comes to tackling the impacts of energy development – especially regarding oil-and-gas drilling.
After years of battling with oil and gas companies, Battlement Concerned Citizens (BCC, a committee of GVCA) was encouraged in early February when Battlement Mesa Company withdrew its proposal to create a wastewater injection well zone near the community’s drinking water supply.
Under mounting resistance spearheaded by BCC, the developers feared a complete rejection of their proposal to rezone part of this residential community. In their revised application, which the planning commission approved at its March 8 meeting, they cut the zone area in half and completely removed the water intake area from consideration. <<Read more>>
Colorado Oil and Gas Policy: In the 2017 legislative session, GVCA and WCC strongly supported House Bill 1256 which would have closed a glaring loophole in state regulations regarding the distance required between oil and gas operations and our school-age children.
On March 29, HB 1256 passed out of the Colorado House. However, the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee’s 6-5 party-line vote killed the measure on April 12. <<Read more>>
GVCA’s trail-blazing achievements have been thanks to the tireless efforts of active, local citizens championing the preservation of what makes our valley such a special place to call home.
- 2016 – Won 70 precedent-setting conditions of approval on two pads to be developed within Battlement Mesa, raising the bar for communities around the state. The conditions include timing limitations, sound and lighting restrictions, and robust air quality monitoring.
- 2015 – Redefined rules governing drilling in residential areas, giving local governments more say in state permitting processes and making sure new rules apply to projects larger than eight wells
- 2014 – With our allies, successfully pushed for improved state air quality regulations that reduce risk to both the climate and public health, with a team of members testifying in Denver.
- 2013 – As part of a coalition effort, moved oil and gas operations further from people, homes and schools as part of Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission rule-making.
- 2011 – Championed the launch of a first-in-the-nation comprehensive Health Impact Assessment relative to natural gas drilling emissions and impacts to human health in Garfield County
- 2011 – Launched a community-based, citizen led “Bucket Brigade” in which specially trained volunteers capture air samples for chemical analysis.
- 2008 – Successfully challenged citizen non-standing to protest drilling at Rulison Nuclear Test Site.
- 2009 – Led the way to the revision of statewide natural gas drilling rules.
- 2005 – Developed and implemented a first-of-its-kind community drilling plan
- 2003 – Led the way to help protect the Roan Plateau from invasive and destructive drilling
The current make-up of GVCA’s membership and board – as well as the evolving landscape of regulatory policy from the federal to the county level – reflects a proud and collaborative history of citizen-led advocacy against some very difficult circumstances.