I am writing to remind all the residents of Delta County and beyond that the April 6 comment deadline on the proposed leasing of 30,000 of BLM land is coming up quickly. In particular, I encourage the citizens living in the Delta, Cedaredge, Surface Creek and Peach Valleys to submit comments along with North Fork residents.
We all will be affected if the leases move forward and are developed.
The air quality impacts alone are reason to write letters requesting the cancellation of the lease sale. Air quality in Delta County is so clean that, for right now, we don't have to have minimum air quality standards. On the Front Range, there are minimum air quality standards in place. Because of those standards, in the Front Range gas fracking operations will be required to have entirely closed loop systems where the possibility of chemicals evaporating into the air is greatly reduced. This means no open pits. We would not have that protection here at this time. Airborne chemicals know no boundaries. Public, private or split estate, it is all the same. We must demand a health impact study. We must demand that the BLM considers the potential cumulative impacts of this proposed gas lease.
A three-year air pollution study of several communities, including Battlement Mesa, discovered that airborne chemicals were found to be five times the level considered to be safe. These chemicals can have neurological and respiratory effects that include eye irritation, headaches, sore throat and difficulty breathing. People have had to sell their homes and move out of the area due to health problems.
We know that our air and water quality will be affected by development of the BLM leases. Even if the well casings are perfect and never crack or leak chemicals into the ground, accidental spills will happen. The rate of accidental fracking fluid spills in Colorado is appalling. According to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission's website, the current average is about one a day.
Clean air and clean water are a big part of what makes living in Delta County so great. I encourage my fellow residents of Delta County to write letters now to the BLM. You can find good information for writing letters on the NFRIA-WSERC website: www.theconservation
center.org, as well as the Citizens for a Healthy Community website: citizens
BLM received nearly 3000 letters in the first comment period. We need to send that many again during the second comment period. Thank you for paying attention to our quality of life here in Delta County.
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