New Era for Drilling Raises Tensions in Fast-Growing Areas – NYTimes.com

New Era for Drilling Raises Tensions in Fast-Growing Areas – NYTimes.com.

Colorado property owners faced with possibility of being forced into drilling plans – The Denver Post

Colorado property owners faced with possibility of being forced into drilling plans – The Denver Post.

Hickenlooper Tells Colorado Oil and Gas Association To Expect Fracking Fluid Regulations Soon

Hickenlooper Tells Colorado Oil and Gas Association To Expect Fracking Fluid Regulations Soon.

New Report Reveals Toxic Air Near Natural Gas Operations 7/12/11

New Report Reveals Toxic Air Near Natural Gas Operations   

Citizen Samples Confirm Neighboring Communities at Risk

FOR RELEASE 7/12/11

Contact:

Denny Larson, Global Community Monitor, 415-845-4705

Josh Joswick, San Juan Citizens Alliance, 970-259-3583

Shirley McNall, San Juan County, NM Residents Worried About Our Health, 505-334-6534

Paul Light, Battlement Concerned Citizens, 970-285-7791

New Report Reveals Toxic Air Near Natural Gas Operations

Citizen Samples Confirm Neighboring Communities at Risk

El Cerrito, CA– Citizen sampling of air quality near natural gas production facilities has identified highly unsafe levels of toxic chemicals near homes, playgrounds, schools and community centers in Colorado and New Mexico. A new report issued by Global Community Monitor, GASSED! Citizen Investigation of Toxic Air Pollution from Natural Gas Development, details the air sampling results, environmental and public health threats with living amid the natural gas boom.

A coalition of environmental and community based organizations in Colorado and New Mexico collected nine air samples that were analyzed by a certified lab. The lab detected a total of 22 toxic chemicals in the air samples, including four known carcinogens, as well as toxins known to damage the nervous system and respiratory irritants. The chemicals detected ranged from 3 to 3,000 times higher than what is considered safe by state and federal agencies. Sampling was conducted in the San Juan Basin area of Colorado and New Mexico, as well as Garfield County in western Colorado.

“Carcinogenic chemicals like benzene and acrylonitrile should not be in the air we breathe – and certainly not at these potentially harmful levels,” said Dr. Mark Chernaik, scientist. “These results suggest neighboring communities are not being protected and their long-term health is being put at risk.”

“My husband, pets, and I have experienced respiratory and other health related problems during the twelve years we have lived on Cow Canyon Road in La Plata County, Colorado.  We believe these health issues are related to the air quality in our neighborhood and in the area,” said Jeri L. Montgomery, neighbor of natural gas development. Through the course of the pilot study, neighbors of natural gas production facilities documented chemical odors and sampled the air. Neighbors have appealed to local, state and national government agencies to investigate their air quality complaints, to limited recourse.

“We are very concerned about the total disregard for the health and welfare of the people “existing” near the sickening toxic oil and gas industry dumps located in neighborhoods such as the land farm on Crouch Mesa and the waste disposal facility in Bloomfield that are permitted and approved by the State of New Mexico and Federal EPA,” said Shirley McNall, member of San Juan County, NM Residents Worried About Our Health.

“Experts and agencies recognize more air monitoring is needed, but it’s not happening,” said Paul Light, co-chair of the Battlement Concerned Citizens. “Rather than wait for the government, we used the Bucket Brigade to collect much-needed air quality information.”

The community and environmental groups in the San Juan Basin and western Colorado worked with Global Community Monitor, which trains community members living near industrial operations to run their own “Bucket Brigade” to sample their air. The Bucket Brigade has been used in 27 countries internationally. The bucket uses EPA methods for testing and an independent lab for air sample analysis.

Complaints about air quality have also surfaced in other states around the country, including West Virginia, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wyoming. Little information exists to educate and inform citizens about the chemicals being stored, emitted into the air, ground or water in close proximity to their homes. “People are getting gassed, and they don’t even know what is coming at them. The air monitoring provides crucial information in understanding what families are being exposed to on a day-to-day basis,” said Denny Larson of Global Community Monitor.

Federal loopholes in the Clean Air Act allow major corporations to circumvent basic protections that put public health first. US EPA is currently drafting new regulations to control and monitor air pollution from natural gas development. Congress is debating new legislation, such as the Bringing Reductions to Energies Air Born Toxic Health Effects (BREATHE) Act.

As regulation moves forward, GASSED! states that solutions are possible. The natural gas industry should invest in pollution controls to increase efficiency and reduce the amount of chemicals in the air. The report also calls for mandatory air monitoring at all natural gas operations and disclosure of chemicals used in the process to local residents.

In addition, the proximity of neighbors and wells is often too close. The report recommends a minimum quarter mile buffer zone between homes, schools and natural gas operations. This is similar to regulations enacted by Tulare County, CA on pesticide spray and St. Charles Parish, LA on industrial development. The report further states, “As the natural gas industry continues to grow, so will the number of families neighboring and affected by the emissions. Industry and government leaders have a unique opportunity to address public health and environmental issues. For coexistence between communities and gas industry to be possible, chemical exposure has to be immediately addressed.”

The full report can be downloaded at: Gassed! Full Report

Download the Appendix:

Complete Air Samples Results Spreadsheet

Full Air Sample Data Interpretation Letter from Mark Chernaik, Phd

BP, Colorado wildlife officials reach agreement | The Associated Press | News | Washington Examiner

BP, Colorado wildlife officials reach agreement | The Associated Press | News | Washington Examiner.

BP, Colorado wildlife officials reach agreement

By: The Associated Press 06/03/11 7:10 PM
The Associated Press

The Colorado Division of Wildlife and BP America Production Co. have reached an agreement on lessening the impacts of natural-gas drilling on wildlife.

Under the agreement announced Thursday, BP will purchase private holdings suitable as wildlife habitat in exchange for drilling rights elsewhere.

Division of Wildlife spokesman Joe Lewandowski tells The Durango Herald that only willing sellers will be sought. He says the agreement applies largely to La Plata and Archuleta counties in southwest Colorado.

The agreement streamlines the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission permitting process by allowing energy companies to sign agreements with the wildlife division to address many drilling sites at one time instead of piecemeal.

BP will contribute $475,000 over the next six years for studies evaluating the effects of natural gas development on wildlife.

___

Information from: Durango Herald, http://www.durangoherald.com

Garfield County – Battlement Mesa HIA EHMS background & information

PUBLIC HEALTH

pages
Battlement Mesa HIA/EHMSBattlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment (2nd Draft) 

Table of Contents
Executive Summary
Table of Contents
Annotated Acronym Definitions

Part One: Health Impact Assessment
Preface
Regarding Ozone and Human Health
Regarding Climate Change and Human Health

1 Introduction
1.1 Antero’s Plan to Drill within the Battlement Mesa PUD
1.2 Community Concerns
1.3 Initial Responses to Community Concerns
1.4 Battlement Mesa Health Profile
1.4.1 Measures of Physical Health
1.4.2 Measures of Community Health

2 Information Gaps
2.1 Information Gaps and Implications
2.2 Remedies

3 Findings and Recommendations
3.1 Findings and Specific Recommendations from Air Quality Assessment
3.2 Findings and Specific Recommendations from Water and Soil Quality Assessment
3.3 Findings and Specific Recommendations from Traffic and Transportation Assessment
3.4 Findings and Specific Recommendations from Noise, Vibration, and Light Assessment
3.5 Findings and Specific Recommendations Related to Community Wellness
3.6 Findings and Specific Recommendations from Economic and Employment Assessment
3.7 Findings and Specific Recommendations Related to Health Care Infrastructure
3.8 Findings and Specific Recommendations from Assessment of Accidents and Malfunctions

4 Summary of Assessments on Health in Battlement Mesa
4.1 Summary of Health Assessments

5 Assessment of Health Impacts
5.1 Assessment of Air Quality on Health in Battlement Mesa
5.1.1 Air Quality and Health
5.1.2 Current Air Quality Conditions
5.1.3 What We Know and What We Do Not Know
5.1.4 Human Health Risk Assessment
5.1.5 Antero’s Best Management Practices
5.2 Characterization of the Air Quality on Health
5.3 Assessment of Water and Soil Quality on Health in Battlement Mesa
5.3.1 Water and Soil Quality Impacts on Health
5.3.2 Water and Soil Quality and Natural Gas Operations
5.3.3 Current Conditions of Water and Soil Quality
5.3.4 Antero Drilling Plans in Battlement Mesa and Water and Soil Quality
5.3.5 Characterization of the impact on Water and Soil Quality
5.4 Assessment of Transportation and Traffic on Health in Battlement Mesa
5.4.1 Traffic and Safety
5.4.2 Current Traffic Conditions
5.4.3 Antero Drilling Plans in Battlement Mesa and Traffic
5.4.4 Characterization of Traffic Impacts on Safety
5.5 Assessment of Noise, Vibration, and Light Pollution on Health in Battlement Mesa 5.5.1 Noise, Vibration, Light pollution and Health
5.5.2 Current Noise, Vibration, and Light Conditions
5.5.3 Antero Drilling Plans in Battlement Mesa and Noise/Vibration/Light
5.5.4 Characterization of Noise, Vibration and Light Impacts
5.6 Assessment of Impacts on Community Wellness
5.6.1 Community Wellness and Health
5.6.2 Natural Gas Industry and Community Wellness
5.6.3 Garfield County and Battlement Mesa during the Garfield County 2003-08 Boom
5.6.4 Current Battlement Mesa Community Amenities and Services
5.6.5 Current and Possible Anticipated Impacts to Community Wellness from the Antero Project
5.6.6 Characterization of Community Wellness Impacts
5.7 Assessment of Economic and Employment Impacts on Health in Battlement Mesa
5.7.1 Ways Economic Activity can Influence Health
5.7.2 Past Natural Gas Economic Impacts in Garfield County
5.7.3 Antero Drilling Plans in Battlement Mesa
5.7.4 Characterization of the Economy, Employment and Property Values Impacts on Health
5.8 Assessment of Impacts to Health Infrastructure in Battlement Mesa
5.8.1 Private and Public Health Services and Health
5.8.2 Current Health Infrastructure Conditions
5.8.3 Antero Drilling Plans in Battlement Mesa and Healthcare Infrastructure
5.8.4 Characterization of Healthcare Infrastructure Impacts
5.9 Assessment of Accidents and Malfunctions Impacts on Health
5.9.1 Accidents, Malfunctions and Health
5.9.2 Current Conditions for Accidents and Malfunctions
5.9.3 Antero Drilling Plans in Battlement Mesa and Accidents and Malfunctions
5.9.4 Characterization of the Impact from Accidents and Malfunctions

6 Conclusions

7 References

Part Two: Supporting Documentation
TABLES
Table 1: Identified Stakeholders
Table 2: Stakeholder Meetings
Table 3: Stakeholder Concerns and Questions
Table 4: Estimated Annual Emissions from Trucks

APPENDICES
APPENDEIX AA
1 HIA Methods
1.1 Screening
1.2 Scoping
1.3 Assessment
1.4 Recommendations
1.5 Reporting
1.6 Implementation
1.7 Evaluation

APPENDIX A: SUMMARY OF THE NATURAL GAS DRILLING PROCESS

APPENDIX B: NATURAL GAS DEVELOPMENT IN THE PICEANCE BASIN
B1 Geology
B2 Energy Development in the Piceance Basin: Past
B3 Energy Development in the Piceance Basin: Present
B4 Antero’s Plan in Battlement Mesa

APPENDIX BB
2 Site Description of the Battlement Mesa Community
2.1 The Battlement Mesa Community
2.1.1 Parachute
2.1.2 Demography
2.1.3 Economy

APPENDIX C: BATTLEMENT MESA BASELINE HEALTH PROFILE
C1 Measures of Physical Health
C1.1 Methods
C1.1.1 Cancer Data Methods
C1.1.2 Inpatient Hospital Diagnoses Data Methods
C1.1.3 Mortality Data Methods
C1.1.4 Birth Outcomes Data Methods
C1.2 Population/Demographics
C1.3 Vulnerable populations
C1.4 Cancer, Death, Birth, Hospital Inpatient Data
C1.4.1 Cancer Data
C1.4.2 Inpatient Hospital Diagnoses Data
C1.4.3 Mortality Data
C1.1.4 Birth Outcome Data
C.1.5 Health Data Gaps/Limitations
C1.5.1 Cancer data
C1.5.2 Inpatient hospitalization data
C1.5.3 Mortality Data
C1.5.4 Birth Data
C1.6 Conclusions for Physical Health
C2 Measures of Community Health
C2.1 Education/School Enrollment
C2.2 Crime
C2.3 Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Suicide:
C2.4 Sexually Transmitted Infections
C2.5 Limitations of Social Determinants of Health
C2.6 Summary and Conclusions for Social Determinants of Health

APPENDIX D: HUMAN HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT*

*This is a very large file. If you have trouble opening it, please send an email to jrada@garfield-county.com to have this document sent by email to you. Also, a browser issue may block the file from opening – click here for a fix.

APPENDIX E: COMMENTS ON SEPTEMBER 2010 DRAFT HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT*

*This is a larger file and may not download without high speed internet. Please access through above recommendations if needed.

APPENDIX F: RESPONSE TO COMMENTS ON SEPTEMBER 2010 DRAFT HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT

Figures
Figure 1: Locations of Proposed Well Pads within the Battlement Mesa Planned Unit

Attachments
Attachment 1: BCC letter
Attachment 2: Surface Use Agreement

resources