As a Physician Assistant, my immediate concern was health related. I’ll admit, I did not know a lot about unconventional oil and gas exploration and honestly had no idea it was possible to drill and frack horizontally underneath homes. I did not know it was even allowed in my city and county since there had not been any drilling activity near where I lived in several years. I also learned early on that my county did not have any regulations, the state(COGCC) controlled all aspects of this site and any others within the county. We have seriously contemplated moving, but where would we go?
We have seriously contemplated moving, but where would we go?”
This event has had a significant impact on myself and my family. As I learned more about the oil and gas industry and what it would mean to live near a site, my concerns only grew. I also became aware of additional pending applications within my county and the number of wells proposed kept growing as time went on. Shortly after becoming aware of this site near me, we all voted on Proposition 112 in November 2018 for increased setbacks of O&G facilities from homes, schools and water resources to 2500ft. Unfortunately, it did not pass. I am thankful I contacted Sara with LOGIC early on for assistance. She helped me and others organize a neighborhood meeting to spread the word and inform neighbors how to get involved and have a voice. I contacted our county commissioners early on through email and phone calls and asked why are they not doing anything. I gave public comment at multiple county meetings. After pressure from myself and others who were concerned, the county finally decided to develop regulations for oil and gas. The subsequent passage of SB-181 to overhaul state rules and regulations for oil and gas development giving local governments the opportunity for more control brought hope that health and safety would be a priority in this process. The county decided to select a task force to aid in the process. I was selected to be a member. The task force was comprised of 15 members, the majority of whom had ties to the oil and gas industry. I knew it was an uphill battle. I hate public speaking, but did it anyway. It became clearer and clearer as the process drug on for over a year that strong protective regulations were not the objective. I’m thankful for involvement of a local coalition of individuals and groups who wanted health, safety and the environment to be a priority with these county regulations, as well. This group, LOGIC and many individuals participated as fully as possible in the process and offered meaningful feedback along the way. Unfortunately, after a few last minute amendments to further weaken the questionable regulations by the Board of County Commissioners, the county regulations we are left with do very little to protect public health, safety and welfare. Regardless, progress was made. The community’s awareness of this issue has increased substantially. The community’s concern about neighborhood drilling, impacts to our air and water and our county’s push to increase reliance on and protect a boom and bust industry has grown. The site near my home and other controversial sites in the area have not moved forward as of yet. If ever there was something that could be done, LOGIC was there to assist, offer ideas, coordinate efforts, participate and streamline what is often a crazy, confusing mess. In spite of all the stress, for the relationships formed, the knowledge gained and the progress made, I am grateful.
Mary B., Loveland