Sunday, May 6, 2012

Centerra residents seek moratorium on oil and gas drilling

By Tom Hacker Reporter-Herald Staff Writer
Loveland City Council will consider emergency measure to temporarily block exploration,

Residents of single-family and condominium neighborhoods at Centerra in east Loveland took turns at a City Hall microphone Tuesday to ask city councilors to put brakes on gas and oil exploration and production near their homes.

Five residents, among about 25 in the council chamber audience and in overflow lobby seating where the meeting was televised, voiced their opposition to plans by Centerra developer McWhinney to lease oil and gas rights to Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

The company's plans call for three drilling platforms, the first on open land east of the Promenade Shops, another on the west side of Interstate 25 just north of Medical Center of the Rockies, and a third one-half mile south of the intersection of Rocky Mountain Boulevard and U.S. 34.

Anadarko would drill horizontally from those sites, at a depth of 7,000 feet or more, into the heart of Centerra, tapping reserves under the High Plains Environmental Center, a 275-acre nature preserve that is one of the development's hallmarks.

Don Belcer, a resident of the High Plains Village enclave of single-family homes on the western edge of the environmental preserve asked councilors to pass a moratorium on oil and gas operations in Loveland.

Belcer, president of the Centerra Residential Community Association board, sought time "to educate, investigate, review potential safety issues and develop appropriate regulation and safety plans" related to the drilling prospects.

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