City’s Response to Anthem Ranch Oil and Gas Education Group’s Safety Concerns Shows Continuing Unresolved Issues

On January 3, the leaders of the Anthem Ranch Oil & Gas Education Group (AROGEG) sent a letter to Broomfield’s Mayor and Council Members requesting their help in addressing several issues.  AROGEG received a response from Tami Yellico, Director of Strategic Initiatives, on January 8.  In a statement to AROGEG members in releasing the City’s letter, AROGEG stated that, “Since none of these issues are resolved yet, the AROGEG leadership will continue to raise these concerns with the City.”

AROGEG’s questions are listed in bold, followed by the City’s response.

 

1 AROGEG: “After Broomfield developed its air quality monitoring program, the Erie Board of Trustees approved Crestone Peak Resources’ application to drill 30 wells on the Acme Pad, just north of Anthem Ranch. This site will impact our residents and we request that you place an air quality monitoring station on the north side of Anthem Ranch to monitor this site and to help determine which operator is responsible for any emissions that reach Anthem Ranch.”

City: “Staff is obtaining an updated cost estimate for an air monitoring station on the north side of Anthem Ranch. Also, Ajax and CSU, our air quality monitoring group, is determining their recommended location for such a monitoring station. That information will be evaluated as soon as it is received.”

 

2 AROGEG: “We are not aware of an evacuation plan if there is an emergency at the Acme Pad. We know the City has developed evacuation plans for Anthem Ranch and Anthem Highlands for an emergency at the Livingston Pad and we believe it of equal importance that there is one developed for the Acme Pad.”

City: The Police Department and North Metro Fire Rescue District (NMFRD) have evaluated evacuation routes for Anthem neighborhoods should a significant incident occur at the Acme pad site. Based on the circumstances of any such incident, Broomfield Emergency Management and NMFRD would implement the Livingston pad site evacuation plan using the same traffic control point, but send the evacuees to the south instead of the north, using both Lowell and Sheridan to move traffic south and then use 144th and 136th to disperse traffic.

 

3 AROGEG: “Since Anthem Ranch only has two exits and they both go onto Lowell Boulevard, it has been suggested that an emergency exit be developed before drilling begins. We wrote to the City about this previously and would like to know what the status is on creating that emergency exit.”

City: “Staff continues to evaluate a third evacuation route from Anthem. We will update you if such a third route is designated.”

 

4 AROGEG: “Lastly, over the last 18 months many conversations have taken place about the need to conduct soil testing around abandoned wells before drilling and fracking. We understand that the Livingston Pad will not drill or frack under Anthem Ranch. However, we are still concerned about our neighbors to the south and east of us. Is someone performing soil testing around abandoned wells before drilling and fracking will take place from all of the pads in Broomfield?”

City:  “Extraction is required to conduct soil and gas testing on all plugged and abandoned wells within 1/4 mile of the boreholes for the new wells in Extraction’s spacing units, if permission for such testing is granted by the property owner. Such testing is to take place prior to production from any new well and 1 year after production has begun. The results of those tests are required to be shared with Broomfield and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. In the first quarter of 2019, Broomfield will begin soil gas testing the remainder of the plugged and abandoned wells in Broomfield, if permission for such testing is granted by the property owners.”