local oil and gas company is looking to expand its drilling operations within Greeley’s city limits, but in doing so has raised some concerns among residents about what they see as potentially negative effects on their drinking water and the foundation under their homes.
Meanwhile, officials with the company and with the city of Greeley say misinformation may have prompted many of those concerns, explaining that Greeley residents’ drinking water comes from snowpack and reservoirs in the mountains — not from groundwater beneath the city —and the ground under their homes will not be effected since the directional drilling will take place about 7,500 feet below the Earth’s surface.
In recent weeks, many residents living in east Greeley — between 1st and 23rd avenues and between 10th and 20th streets — received letters from Mineral Resources, notifying them of the Greeley-based company’s plans for an oil and gas directional drilling program in that area. In the letter, the company offers residents a sign-on bonus and a royalty rate for five years in exchange for leasing their mineral rights to the company.
But some residents aren’t eager to sign up.
“I’ve heard comments from quite a few residents in that area, and it’s a lot of negative feedback,”
said Greeley City Council member Donna Sapienza, who represents Ward II, the area where residents were recently notified of Mineral Resources’ future exploration plans. “At the top of the list for many of them is the concern of drinking water.”