29 Mar Comments on NFMMDP Revised EA Due Monday, April 1
The North Fork Mancos Master Development Plan (NFMMDP) is BACK, and worse than ever. Comments are due APRIL 1!
This project was originally proposed in 2017, and its been in our lives for a long time. The 35-well project we’re dealing with today was originally just the first phase of a much larger 13-pad project with up to an additional 108 gas wells, which is not detailed in this proposal and which is not part of the current environmental review. The project would cover nearly 35,000 acres, roughly 12 miles northeast of Paonia. You can click here to learn more about the project’s background.
The reason we are commenting on this project now, after having already commented on a draft Environmental Assessment for the same project in May of 2018, is that Gunnison Energy discovered that they need to change the process they plan on using to frack the wells from a low-water nitrogen foam method to a water-intensive “slickwater” method. This changed the water requirements for the project from 5.8 acre-feet per well to 67.3 acre-feet per well. In gallons, that’s a change of 1.9 million gallons per well to 22 million gallons per well. For all 35 wells, that’s enough water to supply the needs of 9,400 households for a year! There simply isn’t enough water available to allow this much water to be destroyed. If that weren’t troubling enough, a significant portion (nearly 800 acre-feet) of this water is currently without a source. The BLM and USFS have not analyzed the impact of using this water because it has no idea where the water will come from!
This Revised Environmental Assessment is premature and incomplete. The full scope of impacts from this project cannot be assessed until a source for all the water needed is determined. The BLM and USFS must conduct a more robust Environmental Impact Statement on this project.
Our watershed is irreplaceable. We deserve better and demand better than this EA. The BLM and USFS can, should, and must do better. Click here to send a letter to the BLM and USFS demanding a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement.