In the spirt of transparency, we have transcribed portions of the last Erie Board of Trustees meeting, October 30, 2018. We include the full comments of the public discussion period (as well as the powerpoint presentation used by the residents), which was 100 percent about the Crestone operator’s agreement and 100 percent against the operator’s agreement. Also transcribed are both rounds of the board of trustees discussion and the final vote. The Board of Trustees has scheduled a new vote on Resolution 18-400 for this Sunday, November 4th, at 2 pm. The logic for this eludes us, given Crestone’s November 1 deadline. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with transcript corrections, spelling updates, or anything else.
You can review our article on the last board of trustees meeting and its outcome here. A short piece on the public comment session hosted by the board of trustees at the city courthouse on October 27th can be found here.
Transcript of Board of Trustees Meeting: Public Comments (slideshow slides are at bottom of the comments):
SUSAN PHILLIPS-SPEECE: Mayor Carroll, Trustees, I’m Susan Phillips-Speece, I reside at 4180 Wild Horse Drive in Anthem Ranch. I am also a member of the Anthem Ranch HOA Board of Directors, and on behalf of the Board of Directors, and our more than twenty-one hundred residents, I would like to urge the town of Erie to insist on best management practices such as closed-loop systems, prohibited venting, tankless systems, traffic controls, emergency plans, and the highest level of environmental protections when negotiating with any oil and gas entity. We would ask Erie to focus on protecting public health, safety, welfare and our environment for all of the citizens of Erie and your nearest impacted neighbors. We press that you regulate oil and gas development to the highest degree that you are able to within your governmental structure. We want to provide these protections by following the science in the minimizing the impact of oil and gas operations on the community by maintaining this gorgeous area that we all enjoy living in, recreating in and raising our families. On a personal note, I know that you’ve received a letter from Kevin Standbridge and the city and county of Broomfield, and having served on Broomfield’s oil and gas task force, I know the challenges that you face in dealing with oil and gas operations. Mr. Standbridge’s letter provides excellent advice and comes from all the work that our taskforce and the city staff did to protect Broomfield as much as we could. And so I totally support and urge your thoughtful consideration of Kevin’s letter. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you.
LAURA DAVIS: Good evening Mayor, Board, Trustees, I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak with you tonight. I’m Laura Davis and I’m here representing the city and county of Broomfield and my capacity as the Assistant Public Health Director. As Susan alluded to you, a letter was submitted regarding Broomfield’s comments related to the oil and gas operator agreement that you guys are contemplating. Again, I want to compliment you guys because it’s clear there’s been a lot of thought and effort and discussion put into this whole process and negotiating the operator agreement. I won’t reiterate completely what’s in the letter but there are a couple things that we want to make sure, again, that the letter is part of the public record this evening and that’s the main reason I’m here. But there are a couple things of note. Again, we submitted approximately 16 comments related to the operator agreement outlined in appendix A. Most of those are related to either emergency response, traffic, air quality, and noise. Those were ones that were special attention that we want consideration on. I think the main point that we’re looking for is that we would like to collaborate with the city of Erie, county of Erie, wherever possible on some of these and have, maybe, the possibility of being able to review and comment on some of the plans that will be required as a part of that operator agreement. Again, we’re one of your closest neighbors. We share a lot of the same issues and impacts, and so I think that there’s some opportunity there for collaboration. The other thing that I will note that also is in the letter in item 16, we’ve undertaken a big air monitoring and testing program that involves Colorado State University as well as Ajax Analytics and we’re installing 18 air monitoring stations as well as using some classic canisters to do sampling of our communities to determine what the oil and gas impacts actually are. Again, we’d like to have an opportunity to maybe discuss the potential of participating in that particular project with the town of Erie because of the apt we’ve had and there are some good synergies there where we may be able to collect some data and really make some good decisions and hopefully inform policy making going into the future. I appreciate the time, for allowing me to come speak to you, and thank you for your consideration in this matter.
LIZ FISHER: Good evening trustees, I’m Liz Fisher. I live at 635 Moffat Street in the town of Erie and I’d like to give a somewhat paraphrased version of correspondence I sent you earlier. I’m asking you to delay vote on the operator agreement with Crestone or to vote against the resolution tonight. There are too many serious questions about so many of its provisions. To go forward now, would be a rushed judgment. Some of the outstanding issues that pop out at me, meriting closer scrutiny include but aren’t limited to, transparency, being that documents or other vital information were not released to residents until the last minute. Due process, we have no public hearing with the first or second rating for seeking vote tonight. Settling the litigation with Crestone, despite the fact the judge has ruled in Erie’s favor in a partial summary judgment. Doubling the size of the ACME wall pad in return for not drilling in vessels. This is too steep a trade-off for residents who will be impacted. Another issue is public safety and last weekend’s explosion and fire at an out of service storage tank near Briggsdale, Colorado clearly shows us the extreme volatility of hydrocarbons, even when a very small amount of residual of oil and vapor is present. It’s important to note, same danger exists with any well, pipeline, or infrastructure regardless of any BMPs that the town and Crestone may agree on. Consider that election day is right around the corner with Proposition 112, 2500 foot setbacks before voters. Adams County, this morning, enacted a temporary moratorium on new drilling applications because of that ballot measure. It’s important. Keep in mind the Colorado Supreme Court will soon be ruling in the Martinez case and ask yourselves, if the town’s proposed operator agreement with language that nearly requires a protective approach to how safety, the environment and wildlife is sufficient. Shouldn’t we be prioritizing those concerns? At last Saturday’s question-answer session, Mayor Carroll stated she was not willing to play chicken with Crestone. That’s an interesting analogy but not really applicable. Typically, in the game of Chicken, two cars rush head on at each other, first car to veer off is the chicken. But what we have here is Crestone trying to bully the town, taking more time to negotiate is not an unreasonable or rash act by any means. So standing your ground in this situation is not playing chicken. Stand up for your citizens, thank you
RACHEL BALKCOM: I’m Rachel Balkcom, 265 Skylane Drive. The Goodies that I gave you include a petition from Broomfield and Erie residents. The last we checked there was over 600 signatures in there to ask that we delay the vote, primarily because we have had such a significant process issue. We do question the legality of that and also overall we haven’t had a chance for participation and comment. We also gave you this entire powerpoint that we’re gonna go through one-by-one so we’re all in order and we also gave you a letter that I think most of you have seen from a lawyer about the Quasi-Judicial status. So, what we are going to talk about primarily is that there has been insufficient public engagement as I mentioned, there are several shortcomings in the operator agreement, which could of course have been remedied if we had draft processes and were able to give comment throughout and then do new versions of that more than just in the last week and then the general rush of approval. You all have heard me talk about it some, although a couple of you weren’t there, so we have ACME and the operator agreement. I don’t know if you all have done two of these things together before, my guess is you probably haven’t, and it feels like it gets really awkward because while we have not been able to talk to you about ACME, you have not been able to read any of the letters, you have not been able to read the application, you are voting on something today, the application of which you have not read. Which seems pretty significant to me. There are details in there that I know, because I’ve read it, that you do not know and that’s concerning. In addition of course, in any legislative process, we have options other than just one night for public comment. Ideally we have, as I understand as you all have done this before, there are different readings of that agreement. So, that hasn’t happened. Giving folks who are full-time teachers and running schools and everything else that these folks do, five days to try to really get this legal document, I actually just think is ungenerous. I feel like we deserve more than that, just to be able to understand it and really ask questions and have more of a process with you. Part of that, the difficulty to not speak about ACME this whole time, is that my understanding is that it’s a first amendment issue. It’s a freedom of speech issue, that we have not been able to actually voice our perceptions and our perspective on that. And of course, then it being a shock made that harder. Lastly, we do care a lot that Broomfield hasn’t been able to participate in this. They’re are neighbors, they’re across the street. Just because they’re in a different town does not mean that they should not have a voice.
BRIAN BEDNARD: Brian Bednard, 280 Skylane Drive. In the limited time we’ve had available to review the operator agreement, hearing residents have identified several shortcomings that we feel are critical and need to be considered and be accomodated in the agreement. First of all, the existing operator agreement for a 1000 foot setback that has been given away in the new agreement and that decrease has a significant impact on public health and safety for Erie,
not just Erie but our neighbors to the south. Best management practices do not adequately address the increase concerns for such a large scale oil and gas operation. It just recently doubled from the initial, up to 30 wells. It doesn’t address the heavy truck usage during peak hours restricting levels of air emissions, preparing and maintaining an emergency preparedness plan, including evacuation routes and a system of notification. Air quality monitoring and reporting and the completion of a risk mitigation plan, including a whole risk analysis of the cumulative impact of all wells. Another major issue that I’ve brought up in two other meetings is the fact that you are placing a series of 30 wells adjacent to an abandoned coal mine that’s already experienced subsidence.
The oil industry will tell you that some subsidence is not an issue during drilling and fracking, it’s the reintroducing of the waste water. That is simply not true. The example I gave last Saturday is that in England there is two wells being drilled and fracked for the first time in seven years and one of their best management practices was to monitor the seismic activity, it tripped the threshold that caused them to stop drilling, they started again in 18 hours and the mono-seismic activity actually doubled. Residents would like the opportunity to address other concerns in the operator agreement, like the town waiving it’s rights to call a hearing for applications 2 and 2A at the CGOCC if staff feels that the best management practices have been met and this effectively precludes our participation. There are no plan or pipeline map available for us to review until the last couple of days and there still is no timeline available for us to see how many years this is going to last. My last point that I’m going to make is that on page 12 of the proposed agreement it states that neighborhood meetings will be held prior to Crestone submitting form 2A and as far as I know there has been no neighborhood meeting held, yet four pages later it says that they will submit their application on the first of November. I ask you, how in the world can that happen?
NANCY BEDNARD: My name is Nancy Bednard and I also live at 280 Skylane Drive. Thank you for letting me talk tonight. The state election occuring in one week has made your implications regarding the future laws that pertain to oil and gas development. We ask that our right to vote be respected and that the board will pause issuing any new permits until after this important election. Accordingly, we respectfully request that the vote be delayed until all interested parties have had the opportunity to offer input and all facts have been discerned and shared. By making these requests, we are not asking the board to allow projects to move forward in other communities in Erie. Quite the contrary, we are coming together as a community to ask that they board look at all future development from the scope of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of our residents. This mega site is in an area for emissions under certain weather conditions that will be trapped in low lying areas under temperature inversions, intensifying the polluting effects of O&G processes. The Highway Seven Coalition for which the long term vision is to make Highway Seven safer, reduce traffic congestion, and introduce more public transportation options as communities served by that road continue to grow. It is already over capacity and therefore this coalition will study and provide input on the result and impacts of the significant increase in volume of large truck traffic related to this project. This mega site is exempted from many of the best management practices that do exist, even though this project has not been approved and is well within the time frame to enact application changes. The proposed ACME pad is incompatible land use, in fact the current Erie zoning map shows this approved for in city residential which is consistent with the adjacent land use. So please consider our concerns on this.
JOHN BEYARD: Hi, I’m John Beyard and I live at 275 Skylane Drive and I want to talk a little bit about the COGCA itself. The main clause in it being that it’s implemented in a manner consistent with the protection of public health, safety, and welfare including protection of the environment and wildlife resources. Of course, everyone knows what that means but I want to emphasize that it does not mean development first and then public safety and health next but all the development has to be done in compliance with and subject to and protective of public safety and welfare. So others already have, and will after I speak, identified some issues that have not been answered. How this operative agreement does not address some safety and health issues. These issues have to be answered first, before a vote can be taken on it. It only makes sense. If it’s going to be in compliance with public health and safety then we need to know what all those issues are and I don’t think that they’ve all been identified. So to be in compliance with this act, the vote must be delayed. So there have been several studies done that identify some public safety issues. There’s a New York compendium study, which was updated in March, and it’s a compilation of peer-reviewed studies on the health impacts of oil and gas. The MacKenzie study from April 2018 showed a strong correlation between proximity of oil and gas wells with rates of pediatric leukemia. Finally, the Pennsylvania study from this month shows that waste water contamination is making its way into mussels and shellfish in Pennsylvania which leads to a question about exposure and our food security. So we have to have more data about how the density of wells in proximity to our neighborhoods and communities will impact our long term health. Thank you very much.
CODY SPIKER: Good evening, my name is Cody Spiker. I live at 265 Skylane Drive. I would like to focus, with these few minutes, on the presence of VOCs, volatile organic compounds, which are increasingly linked to oil and gas development. Especially as they are being built closer, and closer, and closer to homes and buildings and children and bodies. Earlier this year, numerous Erie residents had their blood tested and the results showed elevated levels of benzene, ethylbenzene and xylene, all known carcinogens, in their blood. You’ll see on the slides, in the case of Beth Herskowitz (sp), her son’s levels were in the 85th percentile. So, children are being essentially poisoned at this point. With this knowledge in hand, we absolutely require more concrete research about the health impacts of high density drilling that’s happening our community, before adding or even considering adding more. Meanwhile, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has rejected the blood testing methodology that was used in these cases, but it refuses to point out or offer an alternative solution that would look at the impacts that oil and gas development in close proximity to communities. This is beyond a severe oversight and one that we must address before moving forward. Don’t want to be repetitious but that is exactly where we’re at right now. We do not need to vote on this right now, we do not have all the information on hand. More and more research is pointing at the harmful effects of oil and gas development in close proximity to homes and people and to all of you, and all of us. We’re all in this place together. This operator agreement is incomplete. It needs to consider and give a way for residents to know what they’re being exposed to and facing. This vote must be postponed. Thank for your time.
SARAH LAUGHLIN: My name is Sarah Laughlin and I live at 652 Sun Dance Circle. I would reiterate that we need to be protecting health and safety and we need to delay this vote because the operator agreement does not adequately address health, safety or welfare. The traffic impacts are not addressed in the operator agreement and we don’t have a traffic impact assessment required of things like Highway Seven. The town of Erie is already engaged in the Highway Seven Coalition, which has acknowledge time and again for the last couple of years that Highway Seven is beyond capacity. Highway Seven, since 2014, has had a history of fatal crashes. Since 2014, it has been noted to go simply from Sheridan Boulevard to 287, just four miles, can take well beyond 40 minutes. I know many of us have sat in that traffic jam. Adding tens of thousands of additional industrial trucks trips to Highway Seven during any time of day puts both public health and safety at risk. We cannot afford to further jam up Highway Seven without the improvements that have been discussed, and without a full traffic impact analysis. One of the pieces we’ve seen is that given the delays on Highway Seven, the evidence from all of the literature has concluded that every minute of delay in primary response for certain life-threatening medical emergencies, there is a measurable effect on mortality, and I think that’s one thing we’ve failed to consider when it comes to the operator agreement. So as folks have said before, one of the major pieces regarding health and safety is that we have neglected a traffic impact study and to really measure what that looks like in comparison with the work that’s being done by the Highway Seven Coalition so I would urge you to delay and thank you.
SARAH RIMMEL: Hi I’m Sarah Rimmel at 265 Skylane Drive. Just to reiterate, health and safety must be protected and we rely on all of you here to do that. The vote needs to be delayed. Over the last year, over hundreds of thousands of complaints have happened regarding oil and gas development and that’s not new to you all here. I’m concerned that our operator agreement does not sufficiently address issues and mitigation of odor and dust in our environment. We we know that odor and dust symptoms of significant air pollution and that Colorado is consistently receiving an F rating from the American Lung Association for air quality in Erie so these issues are really important and they can’t be overlooked. Last year, kids lost thousands of days of school due to asthma and smog related health issues in Colorado. Again, this is not something to overlook and we rely on the Board of Trustees and we rely on representatives of oil and gas here tonight to really do what you all can to make sure that we have time to address this, to learn what we need to learn. I also just want to talk about some of the complaints at Coyote pad. Just to read off a quick snippet of some of the complaints that were shared from the Coyote trail sites from the COGCC website. This is one specific complaint, and it says ‘noise vibrations. I woke up at five a.m. this morning to vibrations again. Looking out my window there’s a new drill and three new pumps. Could someone please pretend to care? I have had my house on the market for 43 days. No one wants to buy it. I cannot continue to live like this. Not only do you not care but you know that you’re hurting people. Is there no integrity or caring about people?’ Again I think that there can be solutions that are workable, that are not ignoring the health concerns of our residents, and again I just really hope that folks here will take that into consideration and not overlook that. This our citizens, this is your neighbors, this is our children, this is our future generations. And also, just thinking about the ACME site and anthem and the residents, it’s not to be overlooked. So thank you.
DAWN FRASER: I’m Dawn Fraser at 3025 Piper Drive S. There are still critical elements that have not been addressed in this OA. Unfortunately open public comment is only being allowed for the first time tonight and the Board of Trustees has not seen tons of letters and impacted concerned Erie and Broomfield residents because of the Quasi-Judicial status. Because of this the vote on the OA must be delayed to address these concerns and comments. It’s not clear how the BMPs will be enforced and why one of the pads is exempt from key BMPs. There’s no reason for any of the pads to be exempt. Under the existing OA there have been hundreds of resident comments that have gone without response by Crestone, including enforcement requests and questions. The OA must have specific criteria that can and will be enforced. The town of Erie should show how this will be accomplished with this OA. Based on these criteria and the others we’re talking about, I’d like to see the vote tonight delayed to ensure Erie resident concerns are addressed in this new OA before moving forward.
HECTOR OLANZA: Hello my name is Hector Olanza and I live in 295 Skylane Drive. Accidents happen even in the safest environments. Most recent one was at Greely High School where the whole game was evacuated due to a valve failure last September. The most recent one, the other one, was in Aspen, Aspen Ridge Elementary was shutdown over venting and flaring. Which brings the question, what is the plan for worst case scenario? Who makes the immediate decision such as where are students, teachers, parents will be sheltered, will be placed or evacuated? How long does the evacuation take and what is the protocol? Who will get notified first? What is the school’s role in all this? Are parents expected to drive through the traffic to get their kids? How will all kids be released if they are to be evacuated and how quickly? What is the risk of exposure? What are the side effects that the kids will encounter? How will parents be notified in a evacuation or shelter in place in that scenario? I’m assuming you guys probably thought about all that kind of stuff, or no?
Have the police or school or operator identified safe zones where parents can unite with each other if they are evacuated? What will be the emergency service management operator in the school district protocol or plan for communicating with each other through an ETA?
So basically to wrap it up, what I’m trying to say is think about the consequences and worst case scenarios. Accidents happen, we aren’t perfect and so are machines, and think about the future generations and what consequences will be taken if you guys are rushing.
PAMELA BIORE: I’m Pamela Biore and I live at 275 Skylane Drive. I’m here to present this summary. There has been insufficient public engagement, several shortcomings in the operator agreement, a rush for approval, significant health considerations that have not been explored with each pad in the operator agreement. The residents here and very concerned about this, we have faith that you will do the right thing. On July 10th of this year, the Board of Trustees validated that faith when you declared that it is important to understand, minimize, and regulate the adverse impacts of oil and gas exploration, extraction and related options on the health, safety, welfare on the town and its citizens. Not to mention the impact on quality and enjoyment of our homes when we worked hard to be there. During this six month moratorium, you promised to study how they can best address these concerns by pursuing five key factors. Every factor at the end of each key was stated they would protect, preserve the public health, safety, and welfare of the environment. We expect that to happen. In your hearts I know, there has been significant public engagement. There are too many shortcomings in the proposing operator agreement and there is an unfair rush for approval. If you believe, and if you want us to believe, that Erie is the place that will protect and preserve public health, welfare and the environment, please do the right thing and delay on this operator agreement vote.
MONICA CORVER: Monica Corver, 1559 Hickory Drive. Mayor, Trustees. As I listened to the video from Saturday, I was particularly struck by a comment from several BOT members that because vessels is in the middle of town, the optics of what people driving through Erie might see is something we would not be proud of. That was the message to the residents and the audience. It sounds like the BOT doesn’t want O&G to be the focal point of Erie but it’s OK to put it in other neighborhoods of Erie where it’s a bit more hidden. Years ago, residents were invited to two meetings to read their ideas of what they wanted in an operating agreement out loud and on record. You gave residents 24 hours to find sitters, cancel weekend plans, and read through an agreement with 30 percent available content. What are the plans for residents to participate in the process going forward? The OA has no fines, no fees for any violations. Crestone negotiating with reps, is that what you want? For the town to do business with a company like this? Why is the odor lawsuit a part of the OA? This should stand on its own. The OA should also include unincorporated Erie. Why is the OA being rushed to appease shareholders? There are many things not properly addressed in OA, I have several concerns and I forwarded comments to you this morning. If ACME is approved for 30 wells, Vista Ridge will be surrounded by 100 active wells including Coyote. The vessels move does not mean that another operator can’t go in and drill that down the road. Keep this in mind, there are no guarantees. I would encourage you to delay the vote tonight until the operator agreement is agreed upon and residents have had time to digest and provide feedback. I’m gonna read a few comments from my notes.
Has Centroid (?) been back to the Pratt and waste connections to determine if the Denver Landfill is still emitting the odors exceeding regulatory limits?
Will they blame the highway exhaust from Highway Seven in exceeding odors when they start drilling at ACME?
Regarding Gibson 822 drilling fluid: there’s no guarantees and they will play with the additives. It should say that no drilling should take place until a viable alternative is identified and proven.
Will the site be immediately shut down if an alert notification is received for odors?
The odor complaints protocols I found to be very confusing.
I couldn’t tell if…*buzzzer* Is that? Am I being cut off? I guess you can read the rest of my notes.
LAURIE ANDERSON: Hi I’m Laurie Anderson and I’m from 3496 Yale Drive in Broomfield. We’ve been doing this for quite a while coming before Broomfield city council members and commenting on the 84 wells in our area. Despite all this engagement, this one snuck up on us. We had no idea that these 30 wells were coming just north of the Anthem community, the one I live in, and more so even the Anthem Ranch. I do wanna say that over these past two years we have been engaged as citizens in not only the local level but the state level. Through commenting at the COGCC and trying to rule makings and commenting at hearings at the state, we have come to the point as citizens had to do something ourselves. I’m a volunteer for Colorado Rising, I spend many many hours out there. I have collected hundreds of signatures, and done a lot of campaigning. I mean this is not the appropriate time to say this but we have an election coming up on Tuesday, just six short days away in which time the rules could change. This has been a long time in the making and here were are just finding out these new 30 wells, I think it was just 15 and all of a sudden it’s 30 and yet we’re at a critical point in time where the people are about to vote. I seriously request that you wait and let’s see what happens on Tuesday. Adams county, as somebody else just mentioned, just took a vote this morning and they passed a moratorium as a short term one only going through November, I think they have six weeks. I think that maybe the town of Erie can do a short moratorium and see what happens, just let it all play out and then decide. The other big piece that I’ve been involved with is risk analysis, you’ll hear more about that shortly. We were looking at different areas, a lot of them are safety related. Explosions, fires, well blowouts – they’re not uncommon. Lightning strikes are not uncommon. Fires and explosions do happen. There were 23 just last year and they were reportable, meaning that they are quite significant. The other area that we look at, probably one of the biggest concerns, is the air quality because when you have an explosion or fire you know what happens. You see the aftermath, you know what just went down. The air quality, we don’t know what we’re breathing. Our city is undertaking a huge project. First of its kind, I do believe, where they’re actually going to measure the pollutants at multiple locations and throughout the phases. Including, not only just the drilling and fullback and production but they’re going to monitor it and the CDPAG has already put out data showing that the highest elevation is during fullback at which time is greatly increased and is not a short duration. 30 wells will last for months. Thank you.
ANDY KRAMER: Good evening Mayor Carroll and Erie’s Board of Trustees. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you this evening. I’m Andy Kramer and I live at 4252 Corte Bella Drive Broomfield Colorado. I live 20 feet south of State Highway Seven. This is a rhetorical question, how many of you have been vaccinated for this season’s flu? Those of us who have been vaccinated did so for our own personal health, safety, and welfare. Additionally, we chose to be vaccinated for the health, safety, and welfare of the entire community. Vaccinations lessen the spread of illness. In 2017, the community of Broomfield passed proposition 301 to amend the city charter. This proposition made the health, safety, and welfare of Broomfield citizens a top priority when considering oil and gas operations within the city of Broomfield. In a sense, Broomfield was taking proactive and precautionary measures when working with the oil and gas industry. Knowing that concerns related to oil and gas operations do not confine themselves within our city limits alone, we Broomfield voters also believe that proposition 301 protects the neighboring cities around us just like vaccinations. Tonight, those of us living in Broomfield are respectfully asking Erie’s Board of Trustees to consider not only the health, safety and welfare of Erie residents but also the same for Broomfield residents. Particularly those with close proximity to the proposed Crestone well pad that is immediately to the north of State Highway Seven. We request that you delay taking any vote on this proposed oil and gas site until all interested parties have provided input into this development and until all concerns detailed in yesterday’s letter to you from Kevin Standbridge, Deputy City and County Manager of Broomfield, are respectfully considered. Thank you for your time and attention.
PATRICK TALBOT: My name is Patrick Talbot and I live at 4681 Wilson Drive in Anthem Ranch. I live across the street from the 30 well pad and my son lives here in Erie. About two years ago, when we first heard about an operator planning 140 wells in our neighborhoods, with setbacks of about 700 feet, I was among the first to identify significant risks to health, safety, and welfare. The issue in my mind was that while a yearly risk, let’s say a catastrophic well blowout is insignificant, the cumulative probability of one of more catastrophic explosions for 140 wells over 30 years is significant. It is about 34 percent for that single risk based on a single well annual explosion rate of one in 10,000. They are other serious risks, including risks of pipeline explosions, air pollution, wildfire, water contamination, odor, light pollution, property value depreciation and operator instabilities. They guarantee that one or more hazards will occur. During the last two years, our work has been instrumental in alternative site selection which doubled setback distances. An excellent spreadsheet tool for alternative site analysis was built by the Broomfield Citizens Task Force. Along with a co-author, Laurie Anderson who you heard from a bit ago, I completed a preliminary version of a citizen risk analysis. We are readying this for publication in an oil and gas journal. Although Broomfield hired third party experts, DNVGL, that contract is for hazard identification. Which is a first step in a quantitative risk assessment and it does fall short of the required risk analysis for Broomfield. Risk in fact, as I mentioned, is 107 times in a suit against Broomfield. I am willing to share out citizen’s risk analysis with your community, quantifying and mitigating risks is a winning strategy. Thank you.
ERIC RUTHERFORD (Candidate for State House District 33): Thank you. My name is Eric Rutherford, my address is 549 Zircon Way. I see three law enforcement officers here, thanks for your service. I used to be a federal agent. I want to point out before you make this decision this evening that more people were killed in the oil fields of Colorado than we lost in the DEA since 2005. The health and safety of the people of this community is the most important thing you can do, so please make your decision, study all the information and reports and take them serious because my understanding is these wells are gonna be going between two neighborhoods and a busy freeway. I remember, when we lose an agent in the DEA, we go to the ends of the earth to make sure it never happens again. So might the right decision because we will be judged when those people come after us in 50 to 100 years. I’m Eric Rutherford, thank you.
KIM MCNAUGHTON: Good evening Mayor Carroll and the board. My name is Kim McNaughton and I’m a Broomfield resident who is directly impacted by Erie’s oil and gas decisions. This may be the only way that I am allowed to participate in your public process. I owned a house in Vista Ridge for nine years, my son attended Primrose and Black Rock Elementary. In 2013, we moved across the street to Broomfield. Like lots of my Broomfield neighbors, I frequent many Erie businesses. In a letter sent to Governor Hickenlooper on July 30th of this year, several elected officials from Broomfield and Erie stated that governments needs to stand together against these border wars and not be swayed by this divisive approach. Also stating that these multi-well mega pads do not belong near our houses, schools, and water sources. By excluding Broomfield in engaging in this process it appears Erie is creating a new front in the border wars, but it’s not working. Look around you, the residents here have united. Hundreds of letters from Broomfield residents and leadership have been sent regarding this matter, with request that Broomfield become a party of interest in this megapad project. The city of Broomfield sent a letter to the town of Erie’s community development department, dated July 17 2018, regarding this project. In fact you received a letter today from Broomfield’s Deputy City and County Manager Kevin Standbridge. To date, the city of Broomfield has not received a response to these questions. In fact, Mrs. Davis here representing the city has to come speak at public comments to get your attention. Broomfield and Erie residents should not be denied having input to a project with such significant impact to its residents. When communities are ignored, in important matters such as these, we have two systems in place given to us by the constitution. We show up at the ballot box, and we show up in the court houses. The state election occuring in one week has major implications regarding the future laws that pertain to oil and gas development. We ask that our right to vote be respected and the board pause from issuing any new permits or approve any new agreements until after this important election next week. Thank you.
JEAN LIM: Good evening, thank you for the opportunity to speak with you this evening. My is Jean Lim and I live in the Wildgrass subdivision of Broomfield. As a citizen veteran with over two years of attending and participating in COGCC meetings, I first wanted to acknowledge that the city of Erie is most likely faced with unpleasant choices, dictated by insufficient local control over oil and gas development. However, the solution is not to hurry and approve an inadequate agreement, but to delay this vote until all parties can review the operator agreement thoroughly and can collaborate at the maximum extent possible. As our Erie neighbors have emphasized the best management practices in the operator agreement do not adequately address the increase concerns for large scale oil and gas development in close proximity to densely populated residential communities. They do not address heavy truck usage during peak hours, restricting the levels of air emissions, repairing and maintaining emergency preparedness plans, air quality monitoring, and the completion of a risk management plan. In the operator agreement, the ACME pad megasite near dense residential neighbors in both Broomfield and Erie is exempted in any of the BMPs that are in the operator agreement, even though the project has not been approved and it is well within the framework to enact application changes. There is no public platt, pipeline map, or timeline available for public review that reflects the total number of new wells proposed by Crestone to place at ACME. As a Broomfield resident, I appreciate the efforts of the city of Broomfield to offer their specific comments in reviewing the operator agreement. Please delay the vote so you have time to consider them. Thank you.
LIZZY LARIO: Good evening Mayor and trustees, thank you for your time this evening. My name is Lizzy Lario and I also live in the Wildgrass subdivision and have been a partner with Jean the past year and a half. I’m here tonight to speak in support of my neighbors in Broomfield, specifically the Anthem neighborhood, as well as our neighboring community of Erie, that you delay the vote of the Crestone operator agreement. I was incredibly impressed and moved by the presentation earlier and really all of the comments, and I hope you were too. I urge you to listen to your citizens. I echo all of the concerns voiced in the presentation and all of the comments. It all feels very very familiar. BMPs, traffic studies, risk analysis, public engagement is critical. There is too much left to discuss and consider. As Mrs. Fisher stated, the Martinez case has yet to be ruled upon. Specifically, residents want their local governments to work together to ensure the state upholds and enforces the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act, which states in section 34-60-1021A that is declared to be in the public interest when the oil and gas development is done, quote, in a manner consistent with protection of public health, safety and welfare. Including protection of the environment and wildlife resources. We are asking that we all take the important steps to foster this attitude and work together to ensure residents basic right to health and safety. Please delay this vote. Thank you.
SHAVONNE BLADES: Hi I’m Shavonne Blades, I live in Erie, I’m also the Publisher of Yellow Scene Magazine. I’m nowhere near as eloquently informed as my counterparts in the community, they certainly are far more knowledgeable than I but as a member of the media, I have one question that I have not been able to resolve since Saturday’s meeting and that is: why? I just really frankly cannot legally understand the why. I’ve been told that there is threats that we will be sued. I have been told that ACME will move forward on November 1st through the state, regardless of what the city does. So as a member of the community, and a member of the media, I look at it and it says one of two things to me. Either ACME has us by the short thread and we can’t do anything or the election, which nominated five of you to this seat that the city trusted you to protect us, went wrong…went down a wrong path, and I’d like to believe that’s not the case. I don’t believe that the legal reasoning for why this cannot be delayed has been adequately answered. I really do not understand the why, and as a member of the media that’s a question that motivates us. I look at Adams County, just passed a moratorium today. Erie’s had a moratorium for several months. Does ACME really control Erie that much that we have no say? That’s what it’s leaving me to believe. That we have absolutely no say in what happens in our community. So I guess, my question is why? Thank you.
KEVIN KREEGER: My name is Kevin Kreeger, I know some of you already obviously. I’m a city council member in Broomfield, Colorado. I represent Ward four. The northern tip of it includes Anthem Ranch and Anthem Highlands, which are above Highway Seven. I am not here to speak for our council as a body, I’m here to speak on behalf of the residents I represent. There’s obviously a tremendous amount of concern over gas and oil drilling in residential areas. As you know, Broomfield has been wrestling with this ourselves. There are innumerable peer-reviewed studies at this point that show that living within a half-mile, or even a full mile, of this drilling causes severe health defects, problems to fetuses, problems to the elderly, problems to kids, probably problems to all of us. The people who I represent are extraordinarily concerned about being boxed in by oil and gas, some of it occurring in the city and county of Broomfield, but also occurring in jurisdictions around us and possibly with this project in Erie just across the street from them. Because of the wind direction, it is likely that the residents I represent in Broomfield will actually more of the toxicity in their neighborhoods than there will be in Erie neighborhoods. Not that I want it in Erie neighborhoods. Because of the topography, the sound is more likely to be experienced and burdened and be a problem by Broomfield residents in the north part of the city than Erie residents. What I am asking is that you take into consideration above all other considerations, the health and the safety of people. Because I know some of you and because I trust the people that I know, I have a lot of mixed emotions because I want to believe that you’re going to do the right thing. But on the other hand, it has not been a transparent process and has not involved input from Broomfield and even a lot of input from Erie residents. When a process is not transparent, it does not mean that it’s corrupt but it does make people wonder. It raises people’s instincts and people get nervous, and it creates distrust. Even though I know some of the people on this board, even I have to wonder what is happening behind closed doors. I ask that if there are possibly financial considerations or any other considerations being weighed, that none of them come close to approaching the consideration of health and safety of the people both in Erie and in Broomfield. I ask you to delay this vote until we can work, Broomfield, with you more closely and I ask you to consider nothing above the health and safety of people. Thank you for your time and allowing me to speak here.
DEVEN SHAFF: I’m Deven Shaff, I’m a city council member of Broomfield. I represent Ward three, I don’t speak for the entire council, I did want to comment. I speak for those residents that I do represent. The impacts of those in Broomfield could be greater to those of Erie. Concerning noise, concerning odors, concerning air pollution. As Council Member Kreeger mentioned, because of the topography, because of the wind direction, these are concerns to Broomfield and we do want to continue to evaluate that, and evaluate this plan to ensure that those protections are being met for Broomfield residents. I would ask you to ensure that the health, safety, welfare and the environment is being considered with this operator agreement. That is our duty to our constituents and our communities. I would like to ensure that the transparency, involvement of your citizens is being considered. That you rely on the expertise of your citizens, the staff members of neighboring municipalities that continue to go through this, there is a lot of experience. Don’t feel the pressure that you have to negotiate on the spot or you know in this meeting, that you take the time to plan this fully prepared, that all the t’s are crossed and that there aren’t any surprises after you sign on that dotted line. Make sure that you don’t make mistakes that other municipalities have made. Please take your time with this, thoughtfully consider this before you do sign the agreement. Thank you.
VINCE MILLER: My name is Vince Miller, I live in Anthem Ranch and although I’m retired my professional background includes work as a geophysicist and a
As we’ve previously heard, this proposed site for the ACME pad is appalling for a number of reasons but meteorologically it’s atrocious. The reason it’s atrocious is because when we have our typical temperature inversions here, or our nighttime winds often times from the south, it means that the pollutants that are trapped in the air will be breathed by residents of Erie, or Broomfield, and even occasionally LaFayette, if not further depending on how long these conditions last. Counties along the Colorado Front Range occasionally break ozone standards from the EPA and in the summer of 2014 it was discovered the ozone exceeded standards even over the mountains in Grand County in Granby that came from the Front Range. The VOCs responsible for the ozone come in large part from the emissions from oil and gas facilities in our area, particularly Weld County. Ozone is, of course, dangerous to all citizens but particularly dangerous unfortunately to those of us who live in Anthem Ranch, the elderly…I hate to call myself that but I guess I am…and of course it’s rather dangerous to the infants and young people. You’ve probably heard of the name April Beach in Erie Rising, perhaps not for a while. Of course, April Beach and her family had the misfortune of living in a low lying area northeast of the airport. They were surrounded by five well heads, a BTEX burner, two separators, two conduits of tanks. They were 735 feet from an existing well, 759 feet from a newly fracked well. They had horrific medical problems and health problems, they ended up moving. She gave testimony in front of the COGCC, which of course oil and gas did not want her to give, it was anecdotal but she gave it anyway. She moved. Here’s what his Erie Rising webpage says even though they don’t exist at this time as far as I know. It says ‘it is the duty of our publicly elected officials to uphold and protect the rights of the citizens and keep us safe. It’s our duty as citizens, as members of the community, to raise our voices and exercise our rights to protect ourselves, our families, and our future,’ which is what I think most of us are here for. That’s what we’re doing. The new setback rules, at the time that they were put in August 2013, the COGCC said that they had nothing to do with human health impacts and in fact that research should be done on them. What kind of research has been done on them? Nothing from the state. Oil and gas constantly says, “hey we’re your friend, we’re gonna help you. Come to us, we’ll do it”. Well here’s what they did. In the 2014-2015 blue ribbon task force report, commissioned by Governor Hickenlooper, they voted down recommendations to protect the public from possible negative health impacts from oil and natural gas. They voted down recommendations to enhance public health and safety from oil and gas development. What in the world do they know that they don’t want us to know? So my question for you is, will you stand up for the citizens of Erie? Will you stand up for your neighbors? Because oil and gas and the COGCC certainly will not and do not. Thank you.
Transcript of Board of Trustees Meeting: Board Discussion & Vote
Question to Crestone Representative Jason Oates regarding plans, regardless of the Board of Trustees vote on Resolution 18-400:
JASON OATES: Jason Oates, 1801 California. What we have laid out is we are planning on submitting our permits either way, either for the Acme or Vessels and Acme.
MAYOR PRO TEM DEAKIN: So having been part of these conversations as we’ve been working through this, I’ve had a lot of opportunity to reflect on the many times and many hours that I’ve sat out there commenting on these same issues, talking about the impact to both of our homes in Erie over the last 16 or so years. Put plainly, I’m not happy with what we have. It is not a perfect solution, but we’ve worked very hard to try and make it suck less. I’ve been trying to think of a more delicate way of saying that. I’ve looked at the issues that my family has dealt with, I’ve looked at the issues that residents have dealt with, recognizing that we can’t stop some of these sites from going in, some of these wells from going in, the best we can do it try to mitigate them and reduce the level of harm. We can’t eliminate the harm, we can’t eliminate the impact you guys are gonna feel. But I feel like by increasing the number of BMPs from 14 or so to 31, by putting in new sound mitigation, new sound enforcement, by opening up existing wells to inspections whether they’re part of the OA or not, every well that Crestone operates in Erie is gonna be covered under monthly inspections which was not the case previously, we now have new BMPs on recompletions, revisits to the site, I think it’s going to suck less. It’s not going to be perfect. So I’m torn because I feel the frustration, and I’ve felt the frustration you guys have had.
I feel that we’ve had very few opportunities and I appreciate that our neighbors and partners have come to us and have offered help. I think there are things that we can definitely take you up on and we’ll love to take you up on. We’d love to participate in air monitoring of Broomfield, we’d love to participate in all sorts of things. But we have limited resources in this town, and when our neighbors come to us and say ‘you need to fight, you need to fight this things to the death and throw all the town’s money at it,’ we don’t have the resources to do that. Furthermore, and I’ve shared this with some of the board members, I feel the weight of making a decision when there is a vote – I’ve cast my ballot, I’ve gotten my email from Weld County saying my vote has been counted and I voted in favor of 112. 112 doesn’t help us right now. It quite simply doesn’t help us because most of these things are either under the current operator agreement or are ready to have a form filed with COGCC in advance. As you heard there are two sets of paper. There’s the one that complies with this agreement and there’s one that follows the current process and gets in ahead of the deadline and we have no control. So the best impact I can have for Erie residents and for our affected neighbors is to put as many controls on it as we can and check the sites to proper review through our town processes, site specific reviews, where we can look at traffic management plans, where we can look at site specific mitigations that might be required. I know people are not gonna be happy with it, I apologize that I can’t make it perfect.
I just feel like this is the best that we can do right now without losing the deal. So thank you.
TRUSTEE CHARLES: I want to thank all of the residents from both Erie and Broomfield who came out tonight to give their public comment, and additionally those who emailed us and came to past community engagements. That’s all I have for now, thank you.
TRUSTEE GIPPE: I wanna thank everybody in attendance for coming and voicing their concerns. It’s obviously not an easy issue to deal with for us or for the citizens. A lot of great points were made by a lot of the residents that came today, things that aren’t really anything new to us. Things that we’ve been thinking about for several months. This operator agreement has been being worked on for months. It’s been years since the last one, which we had years to review to sort of understand what the shortcomings of that one were. I wanna thank our staff and our attorneys for all the work they’ve done on this as well. Thank you.
TRUSTEE WOOG: *skipped first round of discussion*
TRUSTEE VAN WOUDENBERG: I’ll echo some of the statements that Trustee Deakin made. In this process where the town and Crestone Peak Resources are negotiating a business contract, the parties come to the table with a collection of carrots and sticks to enforce a position. I said to numerous people that the town doesn’t have much of a stick to bring to the table for the negotiations, and the few carrots that the town is able to provide really are in the practice and the spirit of making it easier for Crestone to drill in Erie. That’s an unfortunate reality of the business side of the negotiations. So, in a way we’ve been told that an operator agreement is really the only way for the town to enact any sort of additional local control, any additional requirements on any operator beyond what the state provides at the COGCC. I think, painfully, through experience over the last years, residents at Vista Ridge have learned that Pratt and Waste Connections and County Trails and in other neighborhoods with Morgan Hills and Woolley Becky Sosa that the regulations that are in place at the state for the COGCC, in particular, around noise and odor, are insufficient to protect the health, welfare and safety of the residents in the communities where residential drilling occurs.
For over a thousand complaints to have been filed for the Pratt and Waste Connections sites, for the COGCC field inspectors to come out and assert that in every single one of those cases the operator was working within the limits of the COGCC and that no violations had occurred, is unconscionable. I can’t say that there is anything in this operator agreement that solves any one, much less all of those issues. However, going back to this notion of the business negotiation, is it the case that an operator agreement that had one best management practice that enforced a single regulation beyond what the COGCC does, would that be a win for the town? From the business perspective you’d have to say yes. But I think what it really boils down to is, are we as elected officials doing our job to adequately protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Erie? I feel that we still have a good ways to go, that the negotiations here are a good start. That this is not the end of it. That we have more work to do.
That’s what I’ve got for now, thanks.
TRUSTEE HAID: This has been a tough night. This has been a tough week or so going into this whole thing. One of the most clarifying aspects that we were asked by multiple people is why? Why are we moving at this pace? And I think it’s obvious. We have applications that are gonna drop on November 1st and it’s either gonna be two different pads or it’s gonna be one. We are getting, for the greater town of Erie, we are getting a better situation by adopting this. If we don’t, we potentially lose the ability to do this again. Not completely, but if we come and say ‘we need two weeks’ and then those applications are put in and things move forward and then we come back to Crestone and say ‘ok now we’re ready,’ is there an opportunity for them to say ‘well, you had a chance.’ Having an operator agreement like this will give us the opportunity to go to other operators in town and say ‘meet these.’ Because these BMPs are better than the state requires. We are sucking less by doing this. That’s all I have.
TRUSTEE GIPPE: Just makes me think after hearing some of the comments from my fellow trustees just about the ability of oil and gas to mitigate the dangers. These have been long, ongoing negotiations and I understand that they’ve come to the table in good faith and appreciate the efforts they’ve made. My concern is the ability of someone or something to mitigate damage from something they either don’t know the full extent of or can’t admit to. That’s a big concern of mine going forward.
TRUSTEE WOOG: Thank you Mayor Carroll. There’s quite a few things the public brought up, I’m going to address a few and some were even tonight. One thing we heard a lot was insufficient public engagement. Probably some of you would agree, I would like to see more community involvement. I would appreciate meetings in public, less behind closed doors. There are some legal issues we cannot discuss out here but I think it’s a disservice to our public to hide anything, even if we’re not trying to hide anything. I’d like to see in the future if there’s a way to do that, we’d obviously have to talk to council but I think it causes more divide in our community when there’s things we’re hearing that you’re not hearing. And again, I know some of this could be, or would be, a legal issue but if there’s anything we can do in the future here to discuss more in public, I think that would be better for the whole community. Number two, call it what you want, I call it a subsidy. I really don’t understand number ten on page 16 here on the operator agreement, “Crestone will incur substantial additional construction and production costs. Erie will not require any payment fee or other compensation for or in connection with the construction and operation of the flowlines and gathering lines.” To me, we don’t need to give them that. I just don’t understand why, especially a board that has, I don’t wanna say, fought oil and gas, I guess I could say that. I just don’t understand why we’re giving them that. I think they can afford that. Three, the zoning.
Vessels minerals is in an industrial zone, we’re looking at over a 1000 foot setbacks there, and now we’re proposing or maybe agreeing to eliminating that. I think as most know, the Acme site will be 522 feet from the nearest resident so to add to this Acme site and to add more wells so close, I don’t get that. We have board members who support 2500 foot setbacks so, I don’t see how it makes sense to eliminate or get rid of a site zoned industrial over 1000 feet to Acme with 522. My vote tonight is not a reflection on Crestone, it’s not an admission that I wouldn’t be open to future negotiations, I just see some issues with this. That will be what I base this decision on. Thank you.
TRUSTEE HAID: I wanna address a little this concept of a subsidy. So what we have in the agreement, what has been calculated, is the cost to Crestone from moving from Vessels to Acme is $3.5 million. What we’ve put into this agreement is waivers or cancelation of fees for pipeline crossing so that they can move their product from the locations to the processing facility to the tune of somewhere around $75,000. So we’re giving up $75,000 and they’re giving up $3.5 million. There’s one less drilling location here. It seems like we’ve got a little bit of a win here when we put that money. Or we’re not even putting money in, we’re just waiving fees. I don’t think it’s a subsidy, I don’t think it’s giving money to them to drill. I think what it is is two parties, coming to an agreement and trying to do what we can with the few carrots we have in order to have less drills and less well locations in Erie. Thank you.
MAYOR CARROLL: I think all of us up here would love for the Acme site to be further away from residents. In a perfect world, we’d have drilling not in residential areas. I think we all, or most of us, want that up here just like our citizens out there. But we’re bound to current state laws, and we’re bound to what our code gives us authority to do. So I think we can all empathize with the frustration of having a site, whether it’s Pratt and Waste Connections, Acme, Vessels, whatever it may be, they’re close to somebody and no one’s gonna be happy. This process with the operator agreement, we did a lot more resident engagement than the last process. Last time we did one meeting with the public at the beginning to gather feedback and then we had one meeting for the operator agreement at the end and the code updates for something separate and so we wanted to give residents different ways for engaging with us. I feel like we did a good job in giving residents differents options to talk to us and share their opinions, and really talk about what they’re concerned about so we can address those concerns instead of trying to be bound by specific items that residents were asking for. From our last negotiations, we were more successful discussing solutions to problems rather than trying to prescribe a solution to the experts who know their technology.
To speak to, kind of, our knowledge base, last time we worked in a vacuum. It was just us and it was our attorneys, and it was google, whatever we could think of, and this time we reviewed Broomfield’s operator agreements and their code, we looked at Boulder County’s, we looked at Dacono’s, we worked with the COGCC, the CDPHE, we had our own oil and gas consultant so we had every aspect of our agreement and the corresponding pipeline agreement and odor plan, reviewed by experts in that field. We didn’t rely on our own knowledge. We also looked to our neighbors. We feel we could include as much as possible, that’s out there now, and then additional items that we wanted, up and beyond that. So I know a lot of people have stated this, we’re at a junction of two decisions. If we approve the operator agreement, we do get additional safeguards for residents and one less site is drilled in Erie. If we don’t approve this tonight, two sites get submitted and we don’t any of these additional safeguards. We don’t get air quality monitoring paid for by Crestone, we don’t get sound monitoring, we don’t get leak protection at their sites. We lose a lot, and sure the taxpayer could fund a lot of those studies but that would cost a lot of money. We have money but we don’t have millions of dollars to be spending on ongoing studies. So I think having Crestone take on the financial burden to do monitoring where we get to decide with them who’s gonna do that, is beneficial to our residents. Like Mr. Oates stated and Mayor Pro Tem Deakin stated with 112, it’s frustrating that there are multiple votes, 74 and 112, that influence the oil and gas development happening in a week or two. But us delaying, not voting on anything tonight is not going to be impacted by the outcome of the election and I get that that’s frustrating. It’s out of our control as a board. Crestone has plans to move forward so I think many of us are trying to work within the bounds of what we have because my comment about playing chicken was I don’t wanna say ‘hey let’s negotiate for two more weeks and just call them on their bluff and see if they’re actually gonna submit permits because I think they are. They’re a company, they’re looking out for their best interest. We’re trying to look out for residents best interest. I don’t blame them for their plan and I don’t want to second guess that because I don’t want to miss out on all the safeguards I was mentioning earlier for residents. I just kinda wanted to talk through some of the things that were in the plan because I know a lot of comments have come up both in email and last Saturday and tonight about things that we’re lacking or things we want addressed.
Crestone will have to turn in numerous reports and studies to our staff that will have to review and approve them. It’s a really long list, I’m just gonna mention a couple. Air quality impact assessment and mitigation plan, emergency response plan, geological report, landscape and reclamation, spill prevention control, traffic management plan, water quality, impact assessment mitigation and noise mitigation and monitoring. I think Broomfield residents brought up a lot of concerns around some of those plans. That’s a really good place that our staff can work with you guys and the process, because Crestone’s paying us to do the review and referrals so we can include experts, agencies, other municipalities in that process. I think we all would like our staff to work with Broomfield, whether it’s the city council, residents, we’ll have the staff work that out with you guys on you guys can be included.
Crestone’s gonna be doing noise monitoring on four sides of their facility at 350 feet away and we have two regulations. One is for DVA and one is a new one for DVC. We heard residents concerned about that on Saturday and so we really pushed back on Crestone and said we need something for DVC because right now when we had the problems at Pratt and Waste Connections we made a complaint to the state, a couple days later they came out, they did their testing, it’s a long process. So, for DVC, which is one of the biggest problems we had with Pratt and Waste Connections, they’re gonna be monitoring that and if they go above 3dB, above ambient, based on their initial monitoring measurements, that will trigger a low frequency noise, in fact it’s the same thing the state requires but it would take them a week or two to come out and actually require that and Crestone is committing to do that as soon as they go over that threshold. Based on their analysis of ambient noise at one of their sites, ambient plus three is still about 4dB than at Pratt and Waste Connections. So I see that as we’re gonna be controlling DVC better than at Pratt and Waste Connections and that was one of our big problems for residents. One of the residents asked about, if this moves forward, when the neighborhood meeting would happen? At that was addressed in article four item seven, so because a site moving into the agreement they would hold the neighborhood meeting after. So that is addressed. That’s in there.
I’d have to dig in the agreement to see the radius.
This is kind of similar to something we had before but a little different. We had the right to enact with additional ordinances any environmental requirements based off of federal or state studies if our BMPs are sufficient to protect health, safety and welfare so there is a credible study out there done by the state, or the state has signed onto it’s one of their agencies, that opens up doors for negotiation. So we’re not stuck to BMPs for multiple years. I don’t think we had something as robust as that in our last agreement. As Trustee Haid said, the $3.5 million Crestone is spending to consolidate sites is being offset by about $75,000 of our fees. The cost for us to actually review crossings is very minimal staff time so it makes it easier on our staff, simpler for us so we know where the flowlines are going to be. We don’t have to do approval every time it comes through. I think that’s a more than fair balance or trade. There’s more to it than just those two dollars.
I know there was concerns about the way an article was written about the fees that made it sound like we were waiving $3.5 million of fees but we’re not cause that’s not something we would be OK doing. If, so say, residents have concerns or we think that there’s violations happening we can inspect sites when we want. If there are findings, we have to turn those into Crestone within 48 hours so they can act upon that. We wouldn’t do that as a town but we have a consultant that would. I think that helps, if there’s concerns by residents, that kind of gives us another avenue to address them.
Leak detection and repair, we when we did our engagement sessions, we heard from residents ‘how do I know the air I’m breathing is safe?’ That was one of their biggest concerns. Doing air quality monitoring is one way and we’ve also talked about staff talking to the Broomfield folks about what they’re doing so that we could look at what we could do outside of this agreement for air quality monitoring around Erie, not necessarily at a certain site. Air quality monitoring is one thing but it really comes down to leak detection. If the equipment’s not leaking, than the air quality should be fine. The fact that Crestone has upped their frequency, yet again, the last agreement we had monthly for the first year and then it dropped down to quarterly or something. They’ve committed to do monthly leak detection repair on every site in town, both existing and new. So I think that will go along way to showing residents that the equipments functioning, we’re fixing leaks as quick as possible, and that’s gonna keep our air quality safer, longer term for residents. I understand there are concerns for the drilling and fracking stages but we’re talking 20 years. When these things are operational we’re gonna be able to just show that they’re safe. The two last things I had were, there’s a long list of things we’re not including in there. Fracking fluid, benzene, ethylbenzene, others that they won’t use. Another concern I heard from residents too is they don’t wanna see the oil and gas sites, and so we have language in here to include landscape buffers to help mitigate the visual impacts of different sites around Erie. So that’s a long list, I really expanded upon the agreement, like Deakin said it’s not perfect. It’s not gonna be perfect. The law is not in Erie’s favor to have the upper hand, to get everything we want. Like Trustee Van Woudenberg said, we’ve moved the needle further. We need to keep pushing on other operators, with our own code so we can just keep moving things forward. I think this is a step in the right direction.*
*We’ve reached out to Mayor Carroll for information on the new vote and to confirm her transcript. We will update if she responds. She did put up a facebook post on her official Mayoral facebook page addressing this topic. You can view that here.
Mayor Carroll: Let’s see, if there’s a motion to approve…
Mayor Pro Tem Deakins: I move to approve 18-400
Mayor Carroll: Ok, is there a second?
*11 seconds of quiet**
Mayor Carroll: Can I second the motion?
**discussion with counsel**
Mayor Carroll: Ok, I will second the motion then. So, all in favor of this agreement?
Mayor Carroll: All opposed?
Mayor Carroll: So I don’t know who said “no”.
Jessica Koenig (Dep. Town Clerk): clarifies (unclear audio)
Mayor Carroll: Trustee Gippe, were you a yes?
Trustee Gippe: I’m a no.
Mayor Carroll: Ok, so operator agreement fails. And that was the last item, so we will adjourn this meeting.