Thursday, July 11, 2013

Will the sun set for good over the Sheep Draw?

Sunset over the Sheep  Draw

Last evening I ran into a man walking his dog on the beautiful Sheep Draw trail, beside which 12 horizontally drilled gas wells are planned. He said he'd just watched a scary movie on HBO and mentioned 'water catching on fire', so I asked "Gasland 2?" Yes, he said.

The trail near Northridge HS, north of 4th Street.

South of the trail is Hunter's Cove subdivsion.
More than before, he now has concerns about air quality because he lives closest to the already existing 6 vertical wells across the stream. The well pad with six oil tanks, located higher up on a natural bank, borders the beautiful, snaking stream with marshland in which cat tails and other riparian plants thrive and form habitat for red winged black birds.

View of the site from the trail. Take a look with Google maps. Click  here.
The six existing oil tanks. Note venting tubes on top and housing nearby.

Old trees are a nesting place for hawks and eagles. The area is so serene that you will only hear the rustling of tall grasses and reeds in the breeze, and the song of the red-winged blackbirds, or an occasional shriek from a raptor. After sunset the fire flies dance among the reeds, and much later owls may be heard.

Unfortunately there is danger lurking in this pastoral scene. The man said he can smell the fumes from where he lives, and I believe him as walking the trail with my daughter, we caught whiffs of emissions that were not marsh smells. Clearly it comes from the two big flares and the four separators. The new plan, if approved, will add 13 more separators, and 19 more oil tanks which also vent fumes.

Visible from the trail, the separators and flares, fuming 24/7 
A decision to permit more drilling on the site should not be made before the planning commissioners or city council members have actually visited this place. It deserves their respect. If they were to see and experience it,  for these photos do not do it justice, all would be in awe. That is, unless as children they were never encouraged to see and enjoy the beauty of the natural world, as that would have instilled respect in them, and a commitment to care for it and protect it.

We in Greeley must help preserve that beautiful stretch of wetland and keep it from being ruined by the drilling of more wells, with additional separators, flares and oil or condensate tanks that give off toxic VOCs!

Contact Weld Air and Water to help prevent it.
Check out Frack Files on Facebook and the Facebook group Plains Alliance for Clean Air and Water

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