An article from Westword announces that Extraction has withdrawn their undeveloped permits at Bella Romero. Concerns remain, however, similar to concerns raised by residents and council members here in Broomfield, about what happens to wells already drilled that XOG may or may not be able to financially maintain. The article explains that parents are calling for a complete shut down of the operation, not just a withdrawal of new permits. “Until those wells are plugged and sealed, our children will still be at risk. Anything can go wrong,” says a parent in the article.
It’s a familiar story: using an independent resource, communities fund research, and air pollution levels of chemicals usually associated with oil and gas development are found in dangerous levels nearby industrial oil and gas operations. Chemicals like Benzene, globally characterized as a carcinogen that has been declared by the WHO as not safe to consume at ANY level, are being found in quantities that likely impact the health to those exposed.
From the last three paragraphs of the article:
“Although Extraction’s activities by the school may have stopped, that does not mean that the grounds are safe, Gilbert adds: ‘Yes, they’re not drilling and fracking anymore, but the wells are still producing. Our feeling is that wells can still leak while they’re producing. There are probably leaks going on all the time.”
Nelson’s niece and nephew also attend Bella Romero; they have health problems that doctors can’t explain but that she attributes to the wells. ‘I just tell my sister to not let them go outside. There’s really no other way to protect our kids than to just leave them inside,’ she says.
‘We just can’t create a safe playing environment when there’s a massive industrial site right next door. It’s impossible,’ she concludes. ‘No other industry can get this close to kids and have it be okay.'”