Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Learn to Live with Oil & Gas Drilling, Live with Pollution and Like it

The following information was developed by Town of Frederick and the State of Colorado Oil and Gas Commission to help the public understand the general parameters of oil and gas development in this area of Colorado. The responses are general in nature and can only serve to broaden the understanding of the oil and gas extraction process and site maintenance. For specific circumstances please contact the State of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the oil and gas operator, or the Town of Frederick Planning Department.

The Town of Frederick, Colorado is an Oil & Gas Cheerleader! It's sad to report that there is no mention for safeguarding their citizens from pollution nor are the people provided with adequate information to become a voice in the community. Have we missed something?

We are certain the citizens don't know that most of the Federal Environmental Regulations have been exempt for the oil and gas industry! Exemptions like the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and many others.

What about the toxic waste?  What about toxic emissions? The town never mentions the oil and gas waste generated, toxic air releases from volatile organic combustion stacks, diesel engines and so many other  sources that vent chemicals, not to mention the probable well and groundwater contamination.

Someone wake this community up from the false hopes provided by the snake oil salesman that have sold their health and safety. Wake up Frederick, Colorado! Use this site's unaltered State information  to make sound decisions that your city is not offering or telling you. We know you mean well, but the people need information. Real, factual information that illustrates the potential harmful effects from oil and gas drilling so close to their homes.

Watch this, then look at all the gas wells around you. Monitor your water. The volatile organic compounds that are flared are invisible, you can't see them, they are potentially lethal.

* History
For more than 30 years, the Wattenberg field has been one of the country’s most important oil and natural gas fields. It generates a significant revenue base for Colorado, including jobs, tax revenues and royalties. It supplies vital energy to local communities. More than 15,000 royalty owners in Adams, Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer and Weld counties receive royalty revenues from Wattenberg producers, and some local school districts receive more than half of their funding from oil and gas property taxes. Lastly, some communities also receive tax royalties and grants for public purposes.

The Town of Frederick. Colorado
Learn to Live with Oil & Gas Drilling, Live with Pollution and Like it


* Who regulates well sites in the Greater Wattenberg Area?
Colorado’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is the State agency in charge of regulating oil and gas production for non-federal lands in Colorado and in the Greater Wattenberg Area. However, county and local regulations may also play a role in some circumstances.

In 2008 there are over 340 wells within the Town of Frederick (see inset C). With each annexation the town may acquire additional existing or planned wells. Within the Town limits, the Town of Frederick requires all proposed oil and gas wells to be approved through the Special Use Process which includes neighbor notification, compliance with specific requirements of the Town Code, and may require a public hearing prior to installation of the well and collection facilities. Maintenance operations may occur at any time and don’t normally require notification to neighboring property owners.

* What are the factors for selection of oil and gas well drill sites?
As noted above, the Town of Frederick and surrounding area are within the Wattenberg Field, (see inset C) which is a large mineral resource area subject to multiple subsurface strata and mineral resources including coal, gas, oil, gravel, water, etc. Some of these mineral resources are near the surface of the ground while others may be several thousand feet below ground. Most of the oil and gas resources are fairly deep within the earth's crust requiring drilling for extraction (see inset D).

In order to allow for the extraction of these resources and to preserve the surface owner's ability to utilize the land, various state laws have been enacted to determine the location for any new oil and gas well. One of these laws established the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC). The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has determined that there are five potential drilling windows in any particular quarter section (160 acres) (or 20 sites per section). A section of land consists of a division or parcel of land fixed by government survey, compromising one square mile or 640 acres (see inset E).

State Law provides for multiple wells within each of these drilling windows. Specific well sites are selected after consideration of a number of factors such as; surface topography, subsurface geology, and reservoir characteristics using the most current technology to locate oil and gas resources. In addition, proximity to existing and planned surface uses or resources is also a significant factor. The selection of drill sites is also impacted by the terms of the oil and gas lease covering the tract, which typically includes the right to utilize the surface for exploration, drilling and development operations. Unless an exception is granted, a well site must be located within a “drilling window” on the property (see below for a more complete discussion of drilling windows). COGCC regulations require that good faith negotiations with the surface owner take place in an effort to determine an agreed upon well-site location within the drilling window, and the ultimate location will be influenced by existing surface uses as well as the needs and preferences of the surface owner. In many cases, the location of drill sites (as well as roads, production tanks and pipeline corridors) have been previously agreed to by contract under a surface-use agreement, which is of public record. If property is subject to a surface use agreement the title documentation should reflect that contractual obligation.

* What is a "drilling window"?

* How many well sites can be placed in a drilling window?

* How long does drilling take?

* What are the activities that occur with drilling?

* Where are gas lines placed? How is that determined?

* How much noise / dust / air pollution / danger are assocated with drilling?

* How does a well site affect wildlife, air and water quality?

* Who monitors these sites?

* What does site maintenance consist of?

* How often are the site maintained?

* How are weeds / trash / vandalism addressed?

* What is re-fracing?

* How can I find out if a new well is planned or maintenance is scheduled ona well near my property?

* What is the impact of a new well on my residence, business or family?

* How does a well site affect me if I want to construct or add on to my home / office/ barn? What if I want to subdivide or re-zone my land?

* A new well is being drilled near my home. Should I be concerned about the safety of my family? What safety measures are in place?

* There is a gas line near my home, is it safe?

* What happens if I find a crude oil or natural gas leak?

* Why can't they screen (hide) these rig and pump jack sites?

* Can I paint the pump jack?
* Who should I contact if I have a question or concern?
* How do I find out more about oil and gas wells?


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