Some residents in the vicinity of Archuleta County Road 988 aren’t thrilled about a special exception that BP is requesting to construct a fifth well pad on a 640-acre section of land near Allison.
Elaine Nobriga already can count 16 well pads from her property.
On July 25, Nobriga, resident Nancy Cutright and several others attended the Archuleta County Planning Commission meeting about the BP request, asking the planning commissioners to turn down the request. In a 2-1 vote, planning commissioners recommended against granting BP the exception to drill the fifth well pad.
That recommendation will now be considered by the Archuleta County Commission, which will hold a public hearing about the request at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Current county regulations allow four well pads per 640-acre section. BP has not sufficiently explained why another one is needed, residents said.
Another concern residents have is the location of the request.
While they live in an area that is full of well pads, for the most part, the well pads are located at the bottoms of hills. The site of the new well pad is close to the road, another violation of the county’s land-use code, residents said.
“We’re not against oil and gas, we know it’s a vital resource,” Cutright said. “We’re asking the county to go by their own regulations. Four is enough.”
There are other issues with the application, as well, including an illegal subdivision in the section of land. That was mentioned in the planning commission’s June 27 meeting, so the request was tabled until the July meeting, then wasn’t addressed and resolved last week, Cutright said.
BP also failed to notify the owners of the nearby Allison Lateral, a nearby ditch, of the proposed project, according to two residents. The company also didn’t submit a mitigation plan to avoid water contamination. BP also is required to perform an assessment on local wildlife, residents said, and the one included with the application is from 2011 and covers the entire San Juan Basin.
Nobriga and Cutright said they asked members of the planning commission if they lived near a well pad, or if they had visited the site to see the density of well pads in the area. None of the three planning commissioners had, they said.
Of 25 residents who live within a mile of the proposed well pad, all but two have signed a petition asking Archuleta County to deny the request.
BP did not respond to an email from the Pine River Times or a call to its Denver office.