Here’s a release from Delta County via the Delta County Indpendent. Here’s an excerpt:
It shows real commitment of those interested about potential oil and gas development in the North Fork Valley, to spend an entire Saturday in educational sessions. But a large number of people did just that by attending the Oil and Gas Public Information Meeting sponsored by the Delta County Commissioners.
The meetings started at 9 a.m. and went until 4:30 p.m. and some longer than that. People continued to talk with various experts in the hallways at Paonia Junior and Senior High Schools before, during and after the sessions.
Delta County put together a list of speakers who have many years experience on the regulations, the initial nomination of parcels, the public’s roles throughout and what the agencies can and cannot do. In the afternoon break out sessions, citizens had the opportunity to ask questions that have been nagging them and were not settled during the morning presentations.
Olen Lund, chair of the Board of County Commissioners, moderated and introduced each speaker.
Dr. David Noe, senior geologist with the Colorado Geological Survey, began on the very important subject of the geology of the North Fork Valley where oil and gas exploration is being proposed. Dr. Noe has been mapping the geology from Montrose up to Rogers Mesa, and has not completed his work on the rest of the North Fork Valley.
After his presentation, he made clear that just mapping the geology of the area will not answer the question everyone is seeking — How viable is oil and gas production in the valley?
“It’s hard to evaluate that,” he said. “Just as I showed with the maps this morning, the way to understand the geology is to look at it systematically. You just take that general idea and you go into great depth with it,” Dr. Noe said. “The level of detail that we have with the geology mapped out right now doesn’t answer those questions at that general level. You have to dig in a little bit and look into the old oil and gas records. It’s hard to say. I can’t answer that question for you. The proof is really in doing it.”
Meanwhile, the BLM has released their preliminary environmental assessment on oil and gas exploration in the North Fork area, according to this release from the Bureau of Land Management via the Delta County Indpendent. From the release:
The EA analyzes whether or not the parcels are offered for competitive oil and gas leasing to allow private individuals or companies to explore and develop federal oil and gas resources in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. There are three alternatives offered within the EA including offering all of the nominated parcels for sale, offering a subset of the parcels for sale or not offering any parcels at this time
“The BLM has implemented a thorough and public review of oil and gas leasing, and we appreciate the input and information the public provided during this process,” said Barbara Sharrow, BLM Uncompahgre Field Manager. “Now, we encourage the public to review the preliminary environmental assessment and provide us with your comments on the proposed action.”