The Aquifer when fracked

The Aquifer when fracked

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Come to the Rally ---- What You Need to Know About Sandoval County’s Oil and Gas Ordinances

What you Need to know About the Sandoval County Oil and Gas Ordinace 
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What You Need to Know About Sandoval County’s
Oil and Gas Ordinances

#Common Ground Rising/Stop Fracking the Rio Grande Valley
For the past 18 months, Sandoval County Commission has been undergoing a process of formulating its oil and gas ordinance. The ordinance was initially pursued in November 2015 when SandRidge Energy Inc., an Oklahoma-based oil and gas company, applied for a special-use permit. Since then, citizen groups have organized to give formal comment, input and reports for inclusion in the ordinance to ensure protections from the impacts of the extractive industry--including all surface impacts.
Ordinance divides county into 2 regions
  • The current draft divides the county into a Northwest and Southeast region, each with different use protections (4.7 in the Draft Ordinance).
  • The ordinance establishes energy development zones that do not provide adequate community protections.  
  1. Northwest Sandoval County
Sandoval County has 600 hundred-fracking wells mostly concentrated in the northwest region, also known as the Checkerboard area and part of Greater Chaco.  The Checkerboard area covers multiple jurisdictions of land ownership including public, private, state, Indian allotments, and Tribal trust lands.
  • Sandoval County ignores oil and gas impacts affecting residents living in the Checkerboard region--some areas are under the County’s jurisdiction.

Nageezi (18mi. north of Sandoval County) Photo Credit: Kendra Pinto 
July 11, 2016 - Nageezi, NM
36 storage tanks exploded at a newly developed fracking site operated by WPX Energy.  Investigations revealed that WPX  in order cut costs used cheaper  aluminum fittings instead of steel on many of its connectors.  One or more shortly gave way leaking gas, which ignited. The fire burned for 5-days. WPX Claimed the plum of emissions dissipated quickly. Former WPX vice president Ken McQueen now serves as cabinet secretary of NM Energy, Minerals and Natural Resource Department. 
Mr. McQueen presented information to the County at the May 12 meeting. The State has asked the County Not to have an ordinance and to Streamline the process along with the Permit to the OCD that would grant a permit in the County at the same time. The whole process would take 10 days and there would be no public hearing or notifications to County Residents. OCD has the Power to Waive the 600 ft rule from homes and Schools to 350 ft. With no ordinance in place there could be hundreds of wells permitted very quickly. 
2.)    Southeast Sandoval County
The southeastern region of the county is more heavily populated than the northwest.
  • Communities in the northwest are disproportionately impacted by oil and gas extraction. The County largely ignores what these communities experience.
  • The County practices environmental racism and has no regard for social justice.
This was brought mentioned at the May 12th Meeting. Comments were ignored and no attempt was made to modify the draft before submission to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
In a Q&A at the May 12th Meeting, Comments were give about these concerns and they were ignored. There was no attempt made to modify the draft before submission to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Division of the County is not needed or wanted.
This industry divides communities, families, and in a short amount of time impacts their health and safety.

Additional insights
  • In March 2016, Thrust Energy Chairman and CEO Jim Manatt, informed the County of the company’s intentions to develop the Albuquerque Basin. Rio Grande Valley Mancos Shale Gas into the ‘Next Permian basin’. Manatt bought the 55,000 acres leases from AMREP for the Rio Rancho Estates in 2014.  
  • Mr. Manatt brought SandRidge Energy Inc. to New Mexico to submit a special use application Development permit (ADP) to Drill and explore by horizontal drilling.  There were 3 wells to be drilled but only one well was officially applied for the ADP.
The County has NO Emergency Response Plan
  • In September 2016, an IPRA (Inspection of Public Records Act) was submitted requesting for the oil and gas company’s Emergency Response Plan that was supposed to be filed with the County.
  • The County refused citing national security reason. The County is supposed to have a emergency response plan in place.  The OAG office found that Sandoval County was in Violation of IPRA . We are filing a lawsuit for that document.  
  • Mike Springfield Planning Director he admits the County needs time to Draft an Emergency Response Plan.  
Where we are now

 Photo Credit Mike Neas Picture of Ordinances from Sandoval 32 pages, San Miguel 200 pages and Santa Fe 175 pages
On May 12, 2017 the County released the final Draft Copy of the 32-page “Dead Ordinance”.  This picture shows the noticeable size and content differences on oil and gas ordinances from San Miguel (200 pages) and Santa Fe (175 pages) counties on the left, and Sandoval County (32 pages) on the right.
County pulls a Bait and Switch on Citizens input process on Ordinance
The First Draft was a work in progress with Planning staff and the citizens’ input. Post election resulted in an entirely new and different draft. The document floated as a working draft until May 12th.  
In the May 12th  meeting the County Commission stated that they had 2 options:
  1. No ordinance and streamline the application process
  2. Allow this ordinance to go forward and be approved

This ordinance lacks adequate protections for water, air and public safety. The are many issues not addressed in this ordinance.

AHEAD OF THE P&Z  Meeting at 6 pm (See details Below)
We will have talking points available at the Meeting. Public Comment Sign-in is at 5:45 Pm   

Picture of dirty Flaring and Dust particles in air
Fracking Threatens Our Most Precious Resouces
Common Ground Rising
For our Children, Water, Air, and Health.
5.23.17 Tuesday afternoon 4:30 Pm
Rally Ahead of the Meeting at 6 PM
Sandoval County Admin Bldg
1500 Idalia RD NEm Bernalillo NM 87004

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