There has been a push for comments to be submitted to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) concerning their proposed new national fracking rule for all public lands. The comment period ended Friday, Aug. 23.
Citizens for a Healthy Community (CHC) has been among those organizations calling on their members to send in comments to the BLM. Another group, Environment Colorado, has also been calling on people door-to-door in hopes of signing up new members and to get people to write letters to the BLM. They contacted approximately 14,000 people across the state.
Environment Colorado was formed in 2003 when it split off from Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG). Environment Colorado joined with nearly one million people who called on President Barack Obama to protect public lands from fracking.
"These people are calling on the President because [they're] hoping he's going to exert some positive pressure on the BLM to basically modify this rule," said Margaret McCall, energy associate for Environment Colorado.
"Environment Colorado has spent a large part of the summer, basically the last two months, getting out and talking to people about the issue all over the state," she said.
"We are essentially calling for an end to oil and gas drilling in our national forests and our national parks, and would like to see stronger regulations on the drilling that is already taking place.
"We are building support around keeping our national forests and parks free from fracking.
"We are lucky enough to have some of the most beautiful parks and forests in the country. To think about fracking anywhere boggles my mind, but especially in these places like White River National Forest."
White River National Forest is the most visited national forest in the country.
"I just want to emphasize the need to protect these places for current and future generations because they are so unique," McCall said.
Citizens for a Healthy Community sent out an "Action Alert" in June about the BLM fracking rule. CHC asserted, "The newly released draft rule is riddled with flaws." They faulted the proposed rule for not including setback requirements for how close drilling sites can be to homes and schools; for chemicals not having to be disclosed prior to being pumped underground; chemical-filled waste water stored in open air pits was not banned; there was no requirement that nearby water supplies must be tested before and after drilling; and that the rule would only require one cement barrier be tested for integrity.
"Cement barriers are the only thing that separates toxic fracking chemicals and groundwater," James Ramey, CHC director, said.
The Colorado Bar Association, in its latest Legal Lines column, offered a couple of resources for those looking for information about fracking on or near their property.
Any person interested in learning about hydraulic fracturing operations on or near their property can find information at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), their local government and from a website called Frac Focus. Readily available information includes the well location, the identity of the well operator, the date of fracking operations, and chemicals used in the frack.
The COGCC website is cogcc.state.co.us/. Frac Focus is found at www.fracfocusdata.org.blog comments powered by Disqus