May 29, 2012 – via email and postal mail
Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources
1313 Sherman Street, Room 718
Denver, Colorado 80203
Dear Mr. King,
Your vision of the local government designee (LGD) as “the person who takes the requests, concerns and comments of local citizens to the attention of the COGCC” and “the key to a robust process” is nowhere near reality down here in Huerfano County. (source: http://s3.amazonaws.com/exceptual_loewy/coloradoenergynews-cache/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/mike-king-interview.pdf )
Last year, as you may recall, our LGD was not even informed by the COGCC of the Klikus well APD, and when he did learn of it, and of our anger over the public comment period being waived without our knowledge, he and our Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) refused to ask the COGCC for a public hearing on our behalf. This year, our LGD was apparently informed of the four new Shell APDs in the Gardner area, but once again, he and the BOCC seem to want nothing to do with helping the public learn about or comment on these important local developments.
After we requested that the LGD inform the public and host a public meeting to gather input on new APDs to take to the COGCC on our behalf, and for the extra ten days to provide public comment allowed by COGCC Rule 305c., the LGD told us he conferred with Thom Kerr, acting director of the COGCC.
Apparently Mr. Kerr told him (1) that LGD need not provide the public with any notice of APDs, (2) that the LGD need not hold any kind of meeting to gather public input to take to the COGCC on behalf of the public, and (3) that the LGD need not ask the COGCC for an extension to the public input period when asked by the public to do so. Our requests were denied by unanimous BOCC action on May 23.
We are writing to ask you to address and resolve these three issues, in the spirit of the Governor’s recent task force on oil and gas regulation, and we are adding a fourth issue – (4) that the LGD also ask for a CDPHE consultation on the Fortune well site (one of the four new Shell filings), because it is less than five miles and directly upstream from the Gardner community water wells.
The 500 members of Citizens for Huerfano County appreciate your assistance in helping us to protect our health, safety, welfare and environment and we thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter. Please let us hear from you very soon.
Sandy Borthick, on behalf of
Citizens for Huerfano County
cc: Acting COGCC Director Thomas Kerr, Huerfano Board of County Commissioners, Colorado Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia, Huerfano World Journal, La Veta Signature