Sunday, June 3, 2012

Open Letter to LGD John Galusha - May 18

May 18, 2012

John Galusha
Huerfano County Administrator and Local Government Designee
401 Main St.Walsenburg, CO 81089

 Dear Mr. Galusha,

In a recent interview with Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Mike King,  we read about the important role you play as our local government designee (LGD). “The LGD is the person who takes the requests, concerns and comments of local citizens to the attention of the COGCC. They answer to their local government board or commission, so the position is not merely a figurehead,” says King.  “The LGD is the key to a robust process for us.”  If you haven’t already seen the article, you can read it at

Since Huerfano County is undeniably targeted for potentially large scale oil and gas development (the next Niobrara field?),  we want to be sure that this robust process is established, and that we can rely on you, as our LGD, to bring our requests, concerns and comments to the attention of the COGCC.  To this end, we make these practical requests:

1. Please inform the public as soon as you learn, and  in as much detail as possible, about any applications for permits to drill (APDs) in Huerfano County
  • The only way we have now to learn about these APDs  is by monitoring the COGCC website, and there is only a 20-day public  input period, unless you, as our LGD,  ask the COGCC for a 10-day extension.  Since you are notified by the COGCC, and the state clearly wants you to be the liaison with the people, could you please (1) post an alert in the newspapers and (2) put out an email notice  to those of us who would want to subscribe to an email list for this?  These notices should go out as soon as you receive the APD notice, and they should at  least  include: where the well is, what type of well (oil, gas, CBM) and whether it is to be hydraulically fractured, who the operator is, links to website(s) where we can get more information, and any other information you believe the public needs. Please also include information about how/where/when to contact you about the APD.  Which brings us to:

2. Please host a public forum early in the 20-day public comment period, to gather public questions, concerns and comments on each well APD
  • This meeting should be held during non-business hours and early enough in the 20-day public comment period  for you to (1) gather public input,  (2) determine if you need to request  the 10-day extension from the COGCC (by day 12) , and (3) decide whether to call for the CDPHE consultation (by day 14).  This meeting should be publicly announced along with the APD filing, in the same email, and in the same newspaper notice. 
We hope you agree that these process changes will help to allow meaningful participation by the people of Huerfano County in these matters which have the potential to dramatically affect our health, safety, welfare and environment. Please let us hear from you soon.

Citizens for Huerfano County
PO BOX 1193
La Veta, CO 81055-1193

Paper and email copies to: Huerfano Board of County Commissioners, Huerfano County Planning and Zoning Commission, Thom Kerr (Acting Director, COGCC), Mike King (Executive Director, Colorado Dept. of Natural Resources), Huerfano World Journal, La Veta Signature Newspaper

No comments:

Post a Comment