The Town of Crawford has sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to not open four parcels for oil and gas lease sales. The reason is to protect the town's water source and distribution and to protect the town's wastewater system.
Bruce Bair, public works director, wrote the letter which was also signed by all of the trustees and the mayor.
Bair's letter states the town "supports the multiple use policy of the BLM in regards to federal lands" but "it is also our concern that we be able to continue to provide clean drinking water, provide adequate fire protection, and retain the ability to treat and maintain both our water and wastewater systems."
The town has only one water source, Wiley Springs. Bair's letter noted, "Springs have been known to dry up or be altered due to surface or underground disturbances; for this reason we object to any operations that may alter or diminish the Town of Crawford's only water source."
The town is equally concerned about protecting how water is captured, stored and deliverd. That covers Wiley Springs and over 10 miles of transmission mains and two water storage tanks. Some proposed parcels for future oil and gas development would be within 100 yards of some water mains.
The town expressed concerns about fracking and horizontal drilling because they "could cause earth movement or contamination by infiltration of chemicals" resulting in "catastrophic" harm to people who use the water and to the water system.
The Town of Crawford asked the BLM to remove parcels 6197, 6199 and 6200, to be removed from the lease sales in August, to protect the town's water.
Concerning the town's wastewater system, Crawford uses a BLM right of way for vital access to its wastewater treatment plant. The town wants the access to remain open and points out that "Crawford has a wastewater collection main that borders one of the proposed parcels." The town wants parcel 6201 removed from the lease sales.
If BLM decides to offer any or all of the parcels for oil and gas lease sales, the town requests "special consideration be given to the importance of" protecting the wastewater system and water supply.
The letter concludes, "We would like to make it known to the BLM and other concerned parties that the Town of Crawford is a party of interest in the leasing of these parcels in the Crawford/North Fork Valley area. As a stakeholder in these decisions, we request regular, timely and complete updates from the BLM in regards to this current leasing process."
The letter was signed by Bair, the trustees and Mayor Jim Crook at the Jan. 18 Crawford work session.blog comments powered by Disqus