There has been no official update from the City and County of Broomfield (CCOB) to the demand letter sent by CCOB Manager Charles Ozaki to Extraction on July 15. The letter stated that Extraction is in breach of contract since it has 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 cause greater emissions. You can read the entire letter here.
Five days after that demand letter, black smoke continually billows from the Interchange B pad as nearby residents have filed numerous complaints. The picture was taken on July 19 at 8:38 pm. Nearby residents without air conditioning were afraid to open their windows over the last few days when it reached 100F. July 19 was also an Ozone Action Alert Day declared by the State of Colorado, when according to the Operator Agreement Extraction is supposed to take mitigative measures.
“Completions operations at the Interchange B pad are currently underway by Extraction. The engines running the hydraulic fracturing pumps are Tier 2 dual fuel (natural gas and diesel). Residents can expect to see intermittent diesel exhaust while the engines are primarily using diesel fuel.
Extraction’s completions contractor, Liberty Oilfield Services, is using up to fourteen Tier 2 fracturing pumps to conduct the hydraulic fracturing operations. These pumps initially use diesel and supplement with natural gas at higher revolutions per minute and engine load.
The black smoke that may be seen is diesel exhaust resulting from increasing engine rate or power and engine load. As more pumps are brought online more exhaust is visible. Pumps are brought up to the necessary operating rate individually and will release exhaust until the desired rate is achieved. At that time these pumps begin to use natural gas as the primary fuel with diesel as a supplement, which results in a less visible exhaust.
The City and County of Broomfield continues to closely monitor air quality in the area as well as perform site inspections at the Interchange B pad.”
Residents state that the black smoke is not intermittent but continual. Experts who have spoken to residents state that this smoke is not temporary but will continue as long as Tier 2 engines are in use. Residents also question whether air quality monitoring is adequate since it averages data and the report is only published quarterly.