City Will Not Sell Water; Tier 4 Engines and New Drilling Mud Not Guaranteed

As leaders of Broomfield Health and Safety First (BHSF), Neil Allaire, Laurie Anderson, Jean Lim and Lois Vanderkooi presented a BHSF petition titled “City of Broomfield:  Do NOT Sell Our Water!” that over 600 residents signed.  Then, in a response to the BHSF request at the August 27 Council meeting for an update on the proposed water sale, City and County of Broomfield (CCOB) Manager Jennifer Hoffman issued the following email to Council:

“Mayor and City Council – Staff is no longer negotiating with Extraction regarding selling municipal water. Negotiations ended when Extraction was unwilling to commit, in writing, to continue to utilize NeoFlo, or something proved to be safer, and the commitment to continue to utilize Tier 4 Quiet Fleet engines. This information can be shared with the public. We will add to the web site and push on social media tomorrow. Jennifer”

There is no update yet on the Oil and Gas announcement page, but you can look for it here.  CCOB Manager Hoffman confirmed that the City intends to push Extraction to continue using both the Tier 4 engines & NeoFlo, but Extraction is not required to notify CCOB if they choose not to do so.  

There was evidence of the importance of the drilling mud change at the August 27 Council Meeting.  The Second Quarter Report for Broomfield’s Air Monitoring Program showed that the change in drilling mud to Neoflo 4633 reduced VOCs that might have otherwise impacted sensitive populations.  

Neoflo 4633 drilling mud replaced Extraction’s usage of Gibson D822 drilling mud at the end of July.  Extraction had used Gibson D822 drilling mud while drilling 13 wells on the Interchange B Pad, which resulted in many health impacts that were filed by residents living near that site.  After Extraction started to use Gibson D822 at the Livingston site on July 5, a large number of residents complained about health impacts at City Council on July 9.  Before the Council meeting, local community leaders had contacted COGCC Director Jeff Robbins who then reached out to Extraction and sent COGCC inspectors to the site.  Extraction confirmed to them that Gibson D822 was the source of the odorous chemical release.  Extraction then agreed to cease drilling until they could secure Neoflo 4633 to drill the second well. 

Regarding the Tier 4 engines, Extraction has been using Tier 4 engines for completions at the Interchange B Pad since July 29.  On July 15, CCOB sent a demand letter to Extraction stating that Extraction was in breach of contract since it had refused to agree to use Tier 4 engines as required by the Operator Agreement. The letter demanded that Extraction stop completions (fracking) that began on July 15 on the Interchange B Pad with Tier 2 engines which caused greater emissions.  In a July 26 post, the City and County of Broomfield (CCOB) announced that,  “Extraction is currently in the process of removing the Tier 2 fleet and installing Tier 4 equipment on the Interchange B Pad. They anticipate recommencing fracturing operations with Tier 4 equipment on Sunday, July 28 or Monday, July 29.”

In an August 1 Oil and Gas Update item, CCOB announced that they were considering the sale of municipal water to Extraction for usage in mixing cement for drilling operations.  The announcement stated that Extraction needed clean water in order to “assure their [well casings] physical integrity” and that  “the ditch water they [Extraction] have purchased from others for use in their Broomfield operations does not provide the consistency of water quality necessary for the drilling and the cement to be used in constructing the well casing.”   CCOB informed the public of a proposed August 13 ordinance related to this sale, but the public was never updated on the proposal.  Extraction is currently drilling the 7th well at Livingston and questions from concerned residents about the water sale had been received by neighborhood leaders.