Sep 21, 2007

Drilling in Baca NWR

The Pueblo Chieftain reports in their article titled “Valley drilling proposal strikes 47,000 responses” that the Natural Resources Defense Council recently generated 47,000 public comments regarding the Bush administration’s proposed natural gas drilling operation at the Baca National Wildlife Refuge in southern Colorado. The email was sent on behalf of the local San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council.

Among the concerns of local residents is the risk of groundwater contamination and also sound impacts from transport vehicles, drilling rigs and compressors.

The article states that the ecosystem council and the Crestone Baca Land Trust have called for a moratorium on drilling until the required Comprehensive Conservation Plan is prepared for the refuge. Also, the groups have encouraged the federal government to purchase local mineral rights, restrict drilling in wetland or riparian habitats and require double casing on the company’s drill holes.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expects a draft of the drilling proposal to be finished within 30 to 60 days.

Visit the Baca NWR website to learn more about this relatively young refuge.

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