REMEMBER SB181, the set of landmark Oil & Gas regulations that were passed during Colorado’s legislative session last year? More local control (that means YOU) was built into that law, including a new set of board members selected for the COGCC (Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission) to reflect more oversight over industry.
Another important addition: Longmont City Council was able to direct staff to contract with Dr. DetLev Helmig for air monitoring at our Union Reservoir and Vance Brand Airport. Council had directed oil wells from city property to be moved to Weld County, east of Union Reservoir. Even though removing the wells and flow line was an important first step in local control, it did not remove fracking under our reservoir — water that has been slated and engineered to be domestic household water. Air quality monitoring stations have been up and running since December, 2019.
EASY GUESS as to what was found: readings for voc’s (volatile organic compounds), methane and ozone have been far above EPA standards.
ALSO TROUBLING: Spikes in the readings happening at 12am — this can only mean that well operators are flaring* methane in the early morning hours.
QUESTION: Since the flow line under Longmont has been plugged and abandoned, therefore no way to deliver the fracked oil, is this the behavior of a now desperate industry to burn off excess gas — under the cover of night — at a time when our health, specifically respiratory health, is being compromised by a pandemic?
This cannot stand. Here’s your chance to speak out NOW.
This is your opportunity to influence the COGCC’s first public draft of rules before the actual rulemaking hearing — and with a personal urgency. Now they’ve hit us at home.
DEADLINE for COMMENT EXTENDED TO Wednesday, May 20. Speak your mind: COGCC Public Comment, here.
More background info about COGCC rules can be found, here.
AIR MONITORING DIAGNOSTICS, here.
WELL INFORMATION, here. (Scroll down. Note that this well was fracked from 7/29/19 to 9/4/19.)
RESOURCES: “Environmentalists worry Colorado will see a surge of abandoned oil and gas wells as industry tanks”, Colorado Sun, 5/12/20
“Even before the coronavirus, air pollution killed seven million people a year. Will today’s cleaner air inspire us to do better?”, National Geographic, 4/8/2020.
*What is flaring? Bloomberg Businessweek, August 2019, here.