This blog is about the oil and hydraulic fracture drilling 8,000 wells in proposal for Rio Rancho Estates, RioRancho and Zia Pueblo. We need to spread the word and get people to show up at the County of Sandoval meetings. The oil and gas ordinance is being driven by oil industry, and multinational investment banks.
4:15 PM Prior to County Meeting Sandoval County Admin Bldg. 3rd Floor Chambers, 1500 Idalia Rd NE, Bernalillo, NM 87004, United States
Community meeting on legal options on Sandoval County Oil and Gas Ordinance
We need to set the record straight! We Need the Safety Plan!
OCT 28 2017 – LOMA COLORADO LIBRARY - 10 am – 12 noonSaturday
755 Loma Colorado Blvd. NE Rio Rancho, NM 87124
The County Commission approval of the ordinance--Final comments are due now. We a will be posting those dates on our website.
There are no water protections.There are no air protections and No public health and safety considerations.
The County preempted the National Historic Preservation Act Chapter 106
The Ordinance is 9 pages that streamline permits with only best management practices.
www.commongroundrising.orgDO YOU OWN A WELL? Citizens Grassroots Group Working to Protect, Water, Air and Public Health and Safety --- Come to the meeting!
DONATE TO OUR LEGAL FUND TO HELP STOP THE ORDINANCE FROM IMPLEMENTATION
Donation Accepted Send to: 907 Nyasa RD SE Rio Rancho, NM 87124 For TaxExempt Donation Make Checks over $100 to: ACP&J Memo line: Common Ground Community Trust Smaller Donations gladly accepted Please Help us Protect Our Water!
Common Ground Community Trust A Citizens Grassroots Group just formed the Protect Our Valley Coalition Protect our water, air, health and safety. A Citizens Advisory Board Wednesday, Oct 18th Bernalillo Range Cafe 6 pm Wednesday, Oct 25th Bernalillo Range Cafe 6 pm
FastTracking Streamline Permitting In Sandoval County Oil and Gas ‘No Protections’ Ordinance
October 15, 2017
The impacts to the Greater Chaco Canyon cultural landscape are ongoing and being ignored in the consideration of the Sandoval County Oil and Gas Ordinance. The County is failing to protect and serve the Residents in Throwing in the industry that is poisoning environments and people for the profit by a few.
Sandoval County Commissioners are slated to vote on the oil and gas ordinance OCT 19, At 6 pm, Chamber 3rd Floor, 1500 Idalia Rd Bernalillo, NM 87124. However, in a questionable OMA violation at the end of the meeting Oct. 5th, 2017, Commissioner Block entered amendments to the oil and gas ordinance on the record and now has failed to advertise those amendments prior to the meeting and failed to respond appropriately to an IPRA request.
This is what the lack of transparency leads to — tyranny.
After this blatant OMA violation at the end of the October 5th, meeting, during Comments from the COmmission, Commissioner Chapman read into the record a statement regarding the County’s meeting with San Felipe Pueblo Governor and staff. Commissioner Chapman’s statement was refuted by the San Felipe Pueblo, Governor Ortiz, and Lt. Governor Valencia, in a follow-up letter addressing their concerns after viewing the video. Follow up to Sandoval County Commissioner re Oct 4, 2017 meeting
This does not bode well for the County who is appearing highly discriminatory in their approach and statements regarding their false statements about the Pueblo, ignoring Issues on the lack of enforcement by the State and Federal Government on the Greater Chaco Mesa, ignoring public advisory board in this Ordinance process, with their refusal on adopting a Good Neighbor Notification Districting and Policy. It is obvious that the County Commission does not want to have a conversation with or hear and address the concerns of the Public and Pueblos on this ordinance, or the issues this ordinance brings with it. apcg2017-12 Resolution Protections of Sacred Sites
The County paid $62,000 + to NM Tech for a Water Study that will not be available until May 2018. Instead of waiting for this report, which would set an image in public perceptions of a prudent approach to creating an ordinance with protections in mind. Barreling ahead the County has doubled down with the NMOGA, independent speculators and predator oil industry landsmen in what appears to smack of crony capitalism, not the free market considerations for long-term investment in our communities need. This ordinance is all about short terms gains for a select few, while the County with the other hand works to further hurt the working class with a wage killer Right-to-Work ordinance. NM_Tech_work_order_7-17 work order for NM Tech Modeling Study 571_SC BCC O&G ORD Draft October 2017
Barreling ahead the County has doubled down with the NMOGA, independent speculators and predator oil industry landsmen, in what appears to smack of crony capitalism, not the free market considerations for long-term investment in our communities need. This ordinance is all about short terms gains for a select few, while the County with the other hand works to further hurt the working class with a wage killer, Right-to-Work ordinance.
The lack of transparency, ignoring contractual and fiscal obligations of the MTECH Water Modeling, which was a crucial part of the process, to the insulting behavior shown to the Pueblo and Dine’ leadership without addressing their outstanding issues, the County is negligent in their capacity to govern effectively and needs to come to terms with erroneous behavior. AGENDApacket__10-19-17_1741_81
With the AMREP/outer rim/Sandridge’ Permit, still active the dangers to the Rio Rancho drinking water supply are paramount.
During an UNannounced item on the Oct 5th County Commission Meeting Not only did the County appear to Violate the open Meeting act by talking about amendments to the oil and gas ordinance, The Commissioner goes on to misrepresent the Tribal nation of San Felipe Pueblo. See the previous post for Governor Ortiz and the Lt Governor's Letter. Here is the Video Clip of the what happened last time.
The County Commissioners are scheduled to vote to approve the Sandoval Oil and Gas Ordinance Oct 19 6 p,m Chambers 3rd Floor 1500 Idalia Rd Bernalillo 87004 people's Rally starts at 4:15 pm with a press conference.
Active Oil/Gas Permit for Thrust Energy/AMREP Drilling Starts With Approval of Ordinance
30-043-21278 ROADRUNNER 03 1201 #001  Sandridge Permit still valid for 40 acres expires 11.10.17
Active permits with permissive use with no Public notification means Mike Springfield, planning director would rubberstamp county application permit without notification. 1 well per acres or up to 6 wells per 5 acres (This is the NMOCD allowance in NW Sandoval in the Chaco Mesa Area), means 40-150+ oil and gas wells over the aquifer and the City Rio Rancho drinking water supply to over 100,000 people including private water wells. 1.8 million gallons per are used in fracking one oil and gas well.
This will potentially impact the Rio Grande and ABQ basin through over-pumping. The leak rate is 16% of all wells drilled for contamination equals 8-32 wells will leak. The above info on leaks was read/entered into the record at the last commission meeting by Alan Friedman (ESCA).
There are a couple of people who think that they can keep asking for amendments to the draft, they should be supported. It is hoped that they can get "special use permitting" it would be better, but unfortunately, not qualitatively or substantially for the overall ordinance, The draft would need to be republished after any amendment.
We are better off without an ordinance than to have this one. ARTICLE III. ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT. Section 3.1. Amending Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. A. The Sandoval County Board of County Commissioners hereby amends Ordinance No. 10-11-18.7A, Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of Sandoval County, to establish Oil and Gas exploration and production, and the structures and facilities associated with that use, as a Permissive use within Section 9 (1). RRA – Rural Residential Agricultural District, and to remove this use from Section 10. SU – Special Use District.
What does this mean? In plain English, making oil and gas development a "Permissive use" means that applications to drill IN ANY RURAL AREA with that zoning will be rubberstamped & allowed to proceed with no public notice. You won't know an oil well is going to be drilled next to your home, your child's school, in your fields, or through your aquifer, until the rigs show up. This is what the Sandoval County Commissioners want for their community.
Our coalition thinks differently because Thrust Energy will bring Sandridge / or WPX to drill these wells in the next couple of months unless we can stop this train wreck.
The next meeting is Oct 19th Come to the meeting We will send update announcement on time date and location We are asking them to change the venue to allow for all comment.
PROCESS GOING FORWARD: What To Expect, what happens now
The county will publish the draft ordinance for comment then hold ONLY one more meeting to approve the ordinance. As long as the Ordinance is not amended It will be published one more time and then becomes law within 30 days. If amended they have to republish it and then hold another Final hearing. Since they are in rush to do push this through we do not think they are going to amend unless they can be convinced of liability legal threats. The County is more concerned with the O&G industry suing than with the public.We are exploring our legal options, please expect an announcement soon.
Write emails and call the Office of the Attorney General
What can you do? The "Stoddard Ordinance", quoted above, is an Oil & Gas Ordinance that will be voted on by the Sandoval County Commission as early as October 19th. The entire process has been fraught with controversy, and the ordinance as it stands now will do nothing to protect the health & safety of the citizens or our aquifers. The County has repeatedly failed to follow its own procedures for citizen input. Call the NM Attorney General and ask him to expedite the four Open Meeting Act violation complaints that have been filed with his office. 505.717.3500. ABQ consumer Complaint Number
WHAt YOU CAN DO
Ask the County to hold a meeting in a larger forum so that people can enter their comments into the record. A public hearing is about creating a record and they must understand the irreparable harm they will do. Be kind but firm when speaking to whomever answers. Call 505 867-7538 and email county commission ask: Maria Encinas <email@example.com> the County manager’s Secretary firstname.lastname@example.orgCounty manager
HELP SAVE OUR WATER SHOW UP AT THE OCTOBER 19th MEETING THIS WILL BE YOU WHEN THE WATER IS UNDRINKABLE once we know venue we will send an announcement
Ordinance approved to publish at Thursday’s Commission meeting would allow drilling without public notice or groundwater monitoring with many other concerns ignored
Rio Rancho, NM – Confirmed, John Arango has resigned as Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman over the actions of County Commission Chair Don Chapman and Planning Director Mike Springfield at the September 21st evening meeting. The 9-page ordinance was approved to publish with inadequate considerations for the public interest and welfare. Arango’s 8-page memorandum of September 14th indicates, concerns were about permissive use, no public hearing, inadequate notification process and no protections for water and air or other issues brought forward by the citizens on this ordinance.
The Planning and Zoning Commissioner John Arango stated at the September PZ meeting that he would vote to send the current draft of the ordinance forward along with a memorandum on the suggestions, which was agreed to by PZ Commissioners Stoddard and Brown, but voted down by Commissioners Herrera and Maduena because the ordinance did not address the issue of the citizens. The ordinance was to go for discussion before the County Commission, and later Arango stated that he was pressured by Chapman to send it back to him immediately.
The agenda and county staff report for the advertised meeting did not include the memoranda that were written by the PZ Chairman and the Planning and Zoning Director that were sent to the Commission. Commissioner Arango’s memorandum was given to the Citizens groups’ a few hours prior to the meeting. The public was not aware of Mike Springfield’s memo in which he refuted the public concerns’ until Chapman read Springfield’s memo that stated, “the public ‘s concerns were not important enough...”
Commissioner Chapman read Mike Springfield’s memo and ignored PZ Commissioner Arango’s concerns on what was lacking in the ordinance. Springfield’s memo of September 15th written 7 days prior to the meeting was not included in the staff report or advertisement for the meeting. Springfield stated at the meeting that, “staff recommendation is to approve the ordinance.” During Chapman’s statement, he eludes to Arango’s memorandum yet fails to read it verbatim into the record as he did Springfield’s memo.
The ordinance will only allow ‘permissive use’ and would give Mike Springfield sole authority to rubberstamp without notice or public hearing to streamline permit applications. The NMEMRD Secretary McQueen on May 12, 2017, County Work Session, requested the streamlined process. This ordinance opens 267,00 private land acres to mineral leasing with a possible 15,000+ oil and gas well operations.
Over 80 citizens were locked out of the meeting at 5:40 pm and funneled into a room with only inadequate phonetic spelled captions and no sound to follow along. Chapman appears to have purposely broken up citizen’s public input, as they never shut out citizens prior to this meeting and failed to hold the meeting to accommodate the large numbers that they anticipated. However, oil and gas industry representatives were given reserved seating and allowed in after the doors were shut to the public.
“Sandoval County Citizens and Common Ground Community Trust advocates for a strong protective ordinance. The Commission continues to justify their disingenuous insulting retaliatory misleading actions to the public, by labeling those against this travesty of an ordinance, as “anti-Ordinancer’s,” stated Common Ground Rising Coalition. “The citizens of this County deserve a transparent, democratic process for a strong protective ordinance like the people of Santa Fe and San Miguel Counties. Citizens input was shut out, while county working with industry ran rough shot over the will of the people with a no regulation ordinance.”
September 21 there is a public hearing on the motion to publish the ordinance
6 PM Sandoval County Admin Building 3rd floor 1500 Idalia Rd SE. Bernalillo. NM 87004
There are no water protections. The word aquifer is not in the text.
There are no air protections and No public health and safety considerations.
The County preempted the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Chapter 106 -Tribal Consultation. They were erroneously told they did not have to follow the federal law.
There is a statement in the SOP for tribal "Notification" to drill within three miles of reservation borders only. This is a 'Notification' not Tribal Consultation. attending a powwow is not 'tribal consultation.' as was mentioned in a previous county meeting.
County Commissioners stated that they would have a public hearing at Santo Domingo/Kewa Pueblo, then they preempted NHPA and made no further attempt before publishing the ordinance. THEY LIED to the TRIBES TO THEIR FACE on the record.
The ordinance is 9-pages and streamlines permits with only best management practices.this will make the shortest and worst ordinance in the State of NM and will hold the county liable.
No Emergency Safety Response plan --IPRA Request and Determination letter from OAG finds the County breaks the law.
No risk assessments on Property Tax Valuation Impacts on property valuation after oil and gas impacts.
No baseline studies
No presentations from geohydrologists or any of our other professionals
Has heard disproportionately the presentations from the industry.
Refuse Physicians For Social Responsibility to present Peer studies on health impacts.
County has refused to consider Santa Fe ordinance or San Miguel ordinance that offers more land use and environmental protections and preempts Sandoval County as retaliation for requesting a moratorium.
Basically, this ordinance is a “Notice of intent to drill’ with changing conditional use permits for oil and gas drilling. Some residents had no options for public hearings for neighbors in certain areas of the County.
This includes at present for RIO Rancho Estates Residents, areas under conditional use permits there are NO options for public hearings this also includes most of the county that will be hand stamped by the Mike Springfield planning director and industry hack.
Update on P&Z Actions
On September 12th the P&Z voted 3-2 to recommend the O&G Draft 3 ordinance that streamlines the permitting process without a public hearing to most of the County residents. Despite a brilliant attempt and hard work of a citizens study group on writing insertions for a Citizens' ordinance draft. These men and women gave the County the opportunity to do the right thing and protect the citizens from the disparate impacts of siting 15,000 + oil and gas wells in Sandoval County.
Mary Feldblum and Alan Friedman did an excellent presentation on the ordinance, while it still won't give the protections needed, what they offered was a compromise, the P&Z Thumbed their noses which were expected and then totally overlooked the insertions. the Citizens Study group were thrown bones on noise and notifications in a memo to the County Commission. These idiots couldn't even draft one word of the language and ignored the rest of the 26 pages.
An interesting observation was that most of the language the Citizen Ordinance used was what the planning staff had written in the second Draft. This was before Stoddard trotted in to present the oil and gas industry's draft and then called it his own.
We will be posting the video of the meeting on our website www.commongroundrising.org
The ordinance now goes to the County Commission on September 21st for a motion to publish and to hold one last public hearing. We should push for the protections needed in the Santa Fe Ordinance, a moratorium to do these studies and baseline measurements and show up by the hundreds to the next meeting. Still, they would not extend the process to 30 days everything stayed at 10-days just as the state dictated to the Commission on May 12.
The P&Z Commissioners Keith Brown and John Arango sold out the water for the Rio Grande by ignoring the possible insertions as provided by the study group with their vote. Despite asking some good questions, Arango and Brown gave people false hope that they actually were going to protect water resources in our region. They were a bitter disappoint for citizen's governance in the County, as is the County Commission in this entire process.
"The county commissioners by voting for this ordinance is turning our region into the National Sacrifice Zone." They are all talk and no walk. Furthermore, they have to cheat us to beat us!
Eichewald's commissioner was absent two times in a row without calling in to vote and one commissioner resigned. They never bothered to replace them making sure there were not the votes to hold up the ordinance.
So what can you do? COME TO THE MEETING
September 21 there is a public hearing on the motion to publish the ordinance 6 PM Sandoval County Admin building 3rd floor 1500 Idalia Rd SE. Bernalillo. NM 87004
A rush to exploit natural resources on federal lands could have devastating consequences for New Mexico’s cultural treasures.
The Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Affairs are currently reviewing leases on land near Chaco Culture National Historical Park in an attempt to plan how best to manage and protect both the site and the surrounding land. Unfortunately, despite earlier BLM promises to defer all leases within a 10-mile radius of Chaco Canyon for the time being, the agency has begun the process of leasing land — inside the 10-mile zone. That, before all tribal consultation and community outreach is complete.
As both Democratic U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, also a Democrat, have reminded Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke: “This action would not only violate the previous commitment of the BLM and BIA, but the spirit of the ongoing joint public process which these agencies are conducting with the community.”
Until it is better understood what drilling for oil and gas — including the use of the fracking process — might do to the irreplaceable archaeology of Chaco Canyon, these leases should not go forward. There is no need to put aside work on the Resource Management Plan Amendment for the San Juan Basis, a joint review by the BLM Farmington Field Office and BIA Navajo Regional Office, in a rush to lease out land. This type of cooperative work is exactly what federal land managers should be doing.
Tribes, including the Navajo Nation and several pueblos, have long-standing links to the area — their concerns need to be addressed, both from a cultural and practical standpoint. Destruction of sacred sites must be prevented. It also is necessary to prevent pollution of water and land. Both the Navajo Nation and All Pueblo Council of Governors are asking for the leases to be deferred as promised.
However, according to an Aug. 16 letter from BLM district manager Victoria Barr to Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, the Farmington office is planning to lease 26 parcels of land, just under 4,800 acres, in the greater Chaco region during a March sale. Although Barr wrote that the parcels are at least 10 miles from the park, a map of the parcels shows that some sites are within the 10-mile radius. She justified the leasing as being “in accordance with the president’s policy of Making America Safe Through Energy Independence.”
This push to drill around Chaco Canyon is part of the Trump Administration’s desire for greater exploitation of the nation’s public lands. Zinke wants his department to speed up permits for federal and oil and gas leases — our resources are for sale, and quickly, in other words.
That is lamentable, but nowhere more so in an area that is sacred to so many Native people. As the congressional delegation wrote in its letter to Zinke: “The park itself, but also the greater Chaco area, contains ancient Puebloan roads, kivas, sacred sites, artifacts and great mysteries regarding the people who inhabited Chaco.”
A sacred space is not the proper place for aggressive drilling for oil and gas. The buffer zone is essential to protect the legacy of Chaco Canyon. There are plenty of other places for the oil and gas industry to drill. Putting America first does not require destroying ancient America — and if the Trump administration does not agree, then tribes, activists and all concerned people will have to fight this.