Attend the Hotchkiss Town Council Mtg. on 3/12

March 6, 2015 –

You may have heard that the Hotchkiss Town Council is planning on supporting the proposed Bull Mountain drilling plan for 146 new gas wells up-valley.  The town is proceeding with sending a letter of support despite that fact that its discussion of a letter was not even listed on the agenda for their February meeting.

We really need you to attend the Town Council meeting on March 12th at 6:30 pm at Hotchkiss Town Hall (276 W Main St) and speak out.  Will you help?  Tell the Town Council that you’re opposed to the Bull Mountain project and increased drilling up-valley in our watershed and mention some specific resource concerns.  On a positive note, you should also mention that you support the North Fork Alternative Plan and that they should too.

Requests of Town Council:

  • The Council should ask for the BLM to require:
    • phased-in drilling that places a limit of no more than a few new wells drilled per year.
    • increased bonding/financial assurance in case there is a catastrophic accident.
    • increased air pollution controls.
    • greater setbacks from water supplies.
    • additional mitigations to prevent harm to big game animals, which would also harm the local hunting economy.
  • Since there are many leased lands up-valley, and some development will occur there, the council should support the North Fork Alternative Plan to protect the unleased lands and resources down-valley.

Suggested Talking Points:

  • For the most part the jobs from this project will go to those already employed by the oil and gas industry as contractors, not to locals. Any economic benefit isn’t worth the risk.
  • The heavy truck traffic from this project is going to come right through downtown Hotchkiss. There’s only two access points to the area – over McClure Pass or Highways 92 and 133.  All told, the project could result in 43,294 heavy truck trips.
  • The project will use an enormous amount of water that will be particularly hard to come by in drought years. The cumulative water demands over the course of development is estimated at 353.6 million gallons of fresh water.
  • The council should not be making decisions on items without listing them on the agenda.  How is anyone supposed to know what items are up for discussion if it’s not listed on the agenda?

More information on the 146-well Bull Mountain drilling plan:

Fact Sheet       – CHC web site for Bull Mountain project
Presentation from 2/6 open house

Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall.

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