These are comments I submitted to the Larimer County Planning Department for the public meeting held April 8, 2021, “Oil and Gas Regulations Public Meeting to discuss Land Use and Locational Topics”
Dear Larimer County Planning Department,
Thank you for this opportunity to comment on this planning process. I am a Fort Collins resident since 2018, and a Colorado resident since 1981.
In accordance with the new priorities of SB-181, I would hope that the Alternative Location Analysis can be used to instruct operators who intend to drill an O&G well that they intend to frack, that they supply in the application a plan that shows drill sites that can be located as far away as technically possible from any inhabited structures or open space parks, preferably over a mile.
My understanding of fracking technology is that horizontal drilling can extend for miles; so locating drill sites as far away as possible from peoples’ homes, schools, hospitals, or any inhabited structure would seem in keeping with the spirit of SB-181.
As this compendium on the health risks of fracking details, this document:
Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking (Unconventional Gas and Oil Extraction) Seventh Edition December 2020
In this authoritative document is much evidence that suggests that anyone living within a mile of a drillsite has an elevated risk of negative health effects. As such, the past setbacks of 500 feet or even 1000 feet have no scientific justification.
This is the main point I wish to make: if one of the advantages of horizontal drilling is that it can be extended for miles, at likely only a marginal increase of cost to the operator, there this suggests there are potentially enormous benefits to gain by locating these harmful operations as far away from people as possible.
Weighing such benefits against the costs is not an analysis I have ever seen, but this approach would be extremely useful, I would think, for the tasks that the Planning Department is tasked with.