Impacted Resident Testimony

Triple Creek:The reality of residential oil and gas development

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Our loss was predictable: David wins over Goliath only in the movies. But two years and 1000 volunteer hours ago, the choice to enter into a lawsuit to protect our health didn’t seem like a choice as much as a moral imperative. 500 feet from my neighbors’ houses was too close. That the scientific studies hadn’t proved causality over correlation to the satisfaction of the oil and gas industry didn’t matter. The logic to us was clear—if fracking causes heightened emissions of VOCs, and those same VOCs cause cancer, premature births, and a host of other ills, then 500 feet was too close. It was two years before we were (mostly) done: 64 hours I had to take off work without pay, over $20,000 raised, and over $3,000 donated personally (not counting labor) on a teacher’s salary.

By January of 2018 my health hadn’t gotten any better. And as a matter of fact had gotten much, much worse. And we didn’t know why”, Margie recently accounted. Following the decline of Margie’s health, Lowell discovered that during December 2017, Extraction had flared 109.8 million standard cubic feet (MMSCF) of natural gas and had released 60 tons of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) behind their home. This round the clock flaring for 6 weeks took a toll on Margie’s health.

I really worry about it for children. I mean, the elderly – we had a great life, but the children don’t even get a chance, if they’re brought up in that kind of a condition. ”

The cause of Triple Creek’s extraordinary flaring volume was a confluence of malfunctions and upset conditions on the DCP Midstream sales lines while multiple wells were being brought into flowback. This combination of circumstances would have caused a catastrophe if not dealt with immediately.
The only resolution was to waste massive volumes of natural gas – releasing methane and VOCs into the air.

Margie continued her personal story thinking back to when the oil and gas development was complete. “Now that they stopped drilling, I’ve finally gotten back to my pre-oil and gas influence in our neighborhood, my lung functions have returned, but it’s on more meds… and much more expensive meds.”

Margie’s concerns go far beyond her own health. “I really worry about it for children. I mean, the elderly – we had a great life, but the children don’t even get a chance, if they’re brought up in that kind of a condition.”

Thinking back through the process of oil and gas development, Margie stated, “we would also like to see oil and gas operators have some type of a weekly update, because you do not know what is going on behind those walls… You have no clue what’s going on behind the walls.”

Lowell and Margie L., Greeley, Co