Injection wells near homes rile residents in Colorado and Wyoming

Two injection wells sited near homes, one in Western Colorado, and one in Laramie County, Wyoming, have stirred up controversy in recent weeks. WORC member groups Western Colorado Congress and Powder River Basin Resource Council are working with residents to wage campaigns against the siting and permitting of the proposed injection wells.

Injection wells are one way that oil and gas companies dispose of liquid waste, or saltwater. This saltwater produced by oil and gas companies is not your run of the mill salty water; it is oftentimes hundreds of times saltier than ocean water and contains toxic chemicals such as benzene.

In places like North Dakota, saltwater has spilled into waterways and onto farmland. These spills devastate the land and the water. So, residents have every right to wage campaigns protecting their community’s drinking water sources from saltwater injection wells. Check out WORC’s oil and gas waste mapping project, if you want to see the location of injection wells in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

Battlement Mesa Injection Well Fight

Members of Grand Valley Citizens Alliance (GVCA) and Battlement Concerned Citizens (BCC) last week attended a county planning hearing to oppose a proposed injection well and increased drilling within Battlement Mesa. The proposed injection well site is near a water treatment plant and the Colorado River. BCC and GVCA members expressed concerns over the siting of the injection well. BCC member Ben Tipton, who previously worked at the Glenwood Springs water treatment plant, expressed serious concerns about water quality and location of the injection well. Overall GVCA and BCC overwhelmed the commission with comments opposing the injection well. A decision will likely come before the end of November.

Laramie County Injection Well Fight

Powder River Basin Resource Council affiliate Cheyenne Area Landowners Coalition (CALC) has expressed serious concerns about a proposed injection well near two rural subdivisions just outside of the Cheyenne city limits. CALC members believe the injection well could damage nearby domestic water wells and the Sussex aquifer. CALC plans to continue its engagement in the permitting of the injection well. A decision will be made in late in 2017 or early 2018.

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