Category Archives: Larimer County Commissioners

DEAR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: WE HAVE THE POWER!

Inspired by the May/June newsletter from the Poudre Canyon chapter of the Sierra Club, I sent the following email to our Larimer County Commissioners. Why? Because I, and the rest of the Larimer Alliance, are of the fervent belief that the Commisioners HAVE NOT BEEN ENFORCING THE LAW as written in SB-181. It seems that the Commissioners have been under the impression that they do not have the legal authority to regulate existing O&G operations — this is emphatically not the case, in our humble opinion!

See my email below for my reasons why:

Dear Commissioner Kefalas, 

Dear Commissioner Stephens, 

Dear Commissioner Shadduck-McNally: 

I would like to call your attention to the May/June newsletter of the Poudre Canyon chapter of the Sierra Club (attached). 

In there, it asserts, on sound legal grounds, that our county administrators have full authority under SB-181 to regulate existing oil and gas operations — no matter how long they have been in existence. 

That being the case, I would urge the commissioners to take stronger action to protect county residents from existing operations, such as longtime leaky tanks in northern Fort Collins belonging to Prospect Energy. For far too long, this operator has been getting by on inadequate repairs and flimsy excuses, while all the while continuing to expose local residents to the poisonous fumes escaping from them, and fouling the ambient environment. 

Just read/watch the first hand experience of Von Bortz, who lives in enough proximity of the Krause facility to suffer from its air pollution:

 Oil company hasn’t replaced leaking tanks near Fort Collins despite months of complaints

I hope the commissioners will take this suggestion in a positive manner, and know that we, the citizens of Larimer County, are only trying to enforce SB-181 in the spirit and letter of the law in which it as written and intended — and not reinterpreted in some way to twist it to protect the oil and gas industry. 

Sincerely, 

–​ Rick​

Rick Casey

webmaster: larimeralliance.org, larimerallianceblog.org, focosustainability.org, colivableclimate.org, ncalf.org

Larimer County manager sends message to COGCC about Prospect Energy

Today the Larimer Alliance learned that the Larimer County Community Director sent a letter to the COGCC regarding Prospect Energy, requesting that Prospect submit a Form 2A (location application for oil and gas operations) because the recompletions (redrilling the wells to a different formation) of 3 wells Prospect applied for last year are considered to be a significant change to the current operations. Prospect had originally applied only for drilling permits to drill to a different formation for the 3 existing wells.

A letter was also sent to Prospect Energy asking Prospect to comply with County oil and gas regulations.

The two letters are attached to this post.

The 41 page letter to the COGCC begins by stressing the proximity of the Prospect wells to residences (290 feet to the closest, and 22 homes within 1,000 feet), how this is in an Urban Mitigation Area, and is a “disproportionately impacted community”…and goes on from there, requesting the COGCC grant the request for a “Form 2A” review. The upshot seems to be, if granted, this will result in a delay and extra cost to Prospect…but a greater emphasis on proceeding safely, thereby increasing the chances that residents are not going to get exposed to more harmful pollution from unsafe operations — which Prospect has been known to do in the recent past.

COGCC-Letter-re-Prospect-Energy-Feb-9-2022

Prospect-Energy-Letter-Feb-9-2022

Comments by Tim Gosar on continued leakage from Prospect Energy Krause Tank Site N. of Fort Collins

Good morning Commissioners,


I’m Tim Gosar a long-time resident of Larimer County & coordinator of The Larimer Alliance for Health, Safety & the Environment. Thank you for this opportunity to speak & engage you this morning.


One of this commission’s great accomplishments was re-writing Larimer County’s O&G regulations that prioritized & better protected public health, safety, the environment and wildlife. Thank you very much for this! The next step after passing much better regulations is the fair & swift implementation of them.


You’ve heard the clear and convincing evidence regarding Prospect Energy’s polluting and general disregard for the health and safety of Vonn, Amy, Charley and all the citizens of Larimer County. Willfully polluting, poisoning and disregarding the health & safety of the residents of Larimer County, the environment and wildlife is very troubling to say
the least and must be stopped.


You passed new O&G regulations that went into effect on 9/15/21 that address this disregard for public health, safety and the environment that I’d like to point out & reference:


• 11.5 (Enforcement & Inspections) – Bottom of page 27
o 11.5.1 (Compliance)

• New & existing O&GF’s shall demonstrate compliance with this and all other relevant sections of this code. Failure of an Operator to maintain compliance with the County approval of an O&GF may result in the suspension or revocation of the approval pursuant to the procedures in this Code.

o 11.5.5 (Cease & Desist) – next page


▪ The Director has the authority to issue a Cease & Desist order, requiring the Operator to stop all affected O&G operations where there is: subsection (2) 3 or more documented violations which threaten public health, safety, welfare, wildlife or the environment within a (6) month time frame.


Colorado and Larimer County require that O&G gas is regulated in a way that prioritizes public health & safety, the environment and wildlife. Prospect Energy is endangering Amy, Von, Charley and Larimer residents, along with polluting the environment which must bring a Cease-and-Desist order (section 11.5.5)! The violations of law are clear and convincing per Larimer County’s O&G regulations and CO law. I implore you to use the enforcement mechanisms I referenced to shut
the Prospect Energy’s Krause facility down! Activate that fair and swift enforcement please! The Krause facility is harming our great community and needs to be shut down! Thank you.

Comments by Doug Henderson on continued leakage from Prospect Energy Krause Tank site in N. Fort Collins

Comments to BoCC re Prospect emissions – Doug Henderson – 8 Feb 2022


Good morning Commissioners,


In June and Sept last year, we raised concerns to you about emissions from Prospect Energy’s Krause facility northeast of Fort Collins.


For years this facility has leaked emissions that harm people’s health and quality of life, degrade air quality, and damage the environment.


CDPHE cited Prospect for 3 separate violations at this facility during 2018-19, and issued Prospect a warning. After each violation, Prospect said repairs were made and the leaks had been stopped. But subsequent investigations by APCD found that emissions continued. Repairs were either very inadequate, or weren’t actually made.


Only 2 months after Prospect received the warning, Earthworks documented more illegal emissions from the facility. During the past year, Earthworks documented emissions on 9 separate visits. And several investigations by state and county officials also found leaks, emissions, and odors.


Prospect repeatedly said repairs were made and leaks were stopped. But
subsequent investigations found emissions were continuing.


CDPHE issued another violation notice to Prospect in December. In early January, Prospect replaced two tanks that were known to leak. So finally – after years of leaks and harmful emissions – the facility would no longer be leaking, no longer harming peoples’ health, air quality, and the environment.


Unfortunately, shortly after the tanks were replaced, local residents reported more odors from the facility – the same sickening odors that have made them ill for years.


So in mid-January, Earthworks investigated again – and documented leaks from the replacement tanks. (The imaging from that investigation is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db9B9fsErPg&t=67s&ab_channel=Earthworks

It seems Prospect had replaced two old leaky tanks
with other old used tanks, and leaks continued. So Earthworks filed another complaint with APCD.


Ten days ago, a state investigator, accompanied by County Health staff,
documented more leaks, emissions, and odors at the facility.


The Krause facility has a clear record of leaks, emissions, violations. Prospect is responsible for these leaks and failing to stop them, and responsible for toxic and illegal emissions that for years have damaged people’s health and welfare, degraded air quality, and damaged the environment.

Colorado law is clear: protection of public health and the environment holds priority in oil & gas development. Larimer County has legal authority under state law and County regulations to act to protect public health, safety, and the environment.


We urge the County to stop further harm from the Krause facility
and hold Prospect accountable:

  • by ordering the facility to cease operation and shut
    until state and local authorities determine the facility can operate without any more illegal emissions.
  • and by issuing Prospect a penalty for its chronic illegal leaks,
    and sufficient to deter further illegal conduct.

Not just talk – real action to uphold the law and protect local residents, public health, and the environment.