UPDATED: For Immediate Release: 10/31/2018
Contact: Gina Hardin, President, 350 Colorado, firstname.lastname@example.org (303) 525-3076
Fracking Permit Applications Pending for Rocky Flats, including Superfund Sites, Standley Lake, and Surrounding Areas
Denver, Colorado – On Friday, interested parties received a copy of an Application to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), by an English and Scottish Company, Highlands Natural Resources Corporation, to horizontally drill four sections of the former Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, including the Superfund site where the plutonium triggers were manufactured. The Application requests authority to drill four pads and up to 31 wells in unspecified locations throughout the four sections. (Attachment 1, Application, including map & Attachment 2, map of 4 sections, showing overlap with Superfund site (sections are hand-drawn and are not to scale though a good approximation). The 1989 FBI raid of this site for suspected environmental crimes, was the first time in history that the FBI has raided another federal agency. Some 5000 barrels of plutonium-contaminated oil were stored out in the open, unprotected, corroding and leaking into the soil.
According to information released by Highlands (Attachment 3),” [t]he company will file up to 104 permits prior to the November 6th vote on . . . Proposition 112 . . . [T]he Company has been advised that by filing the permits prior to the ballot it has minimized the potential risk posed by Proposition 112.” The released information also states that it aims to develop the “West Denver Shale Project” so as to “retain a significant carried interest for all wells without dilution to its shareholders.”
A Jefferson County authored map dated 10/30/2018, shows that the number is actually 109 wells on 16 pads. The 5 applications cover the entirety of Rocky Flats, including the Superfund site, as well as two sections overlying Standley Lake, and two sections connecting the two locations. (Attachment 4, Map authored by Jefferson County, dated 10/30/2018 & Attachment 5, same map but with explanations inserted by author).
These areas are adjacent to numerous West Metro communities, including Superior, Broomfield, Westminster, and Arvada. There has been on-going concern from these communities that any activities that could release radioactive particles in the Superfund site and other areas in Rocky Flats, could endanger anyone who is exposed to such. The COGCC has never, in its history, denied a permit.
Now, the surrounding communities will be threatened with an increased risk of radioactive exposure and contamination from fracking, and potential oil and gas explosions in these areas, as well as the numerous health, environmental and safety risks associated with fracking have been well documented by scientists and health professionals. See e.g., Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking, https://www.psr.org/blog/
Gina Hardin, President of non-profit 350 Colorado, warns that this is clear evidence that the oil and gas industry is completely unwilling to regulate itself. It will aggressively seek profit like an amoral machine, destroying without conscience, anyone and anything in its path. Coloradans must vote and take other actions with the knowledge that they, and their loved ones, may be next.