Plan For Drilling Close To Windsor Homes Draws Fire

WINDSOR, Colo. (CBS4) – A group of neighbors in Windsor are trying to build a coalition against a drilling project that would be set up within a mile of some homes.

People in the Ridge West subdivision are preparing for a meeting Monday night with Greeley-based Ranchers Exploration Partners, the company behind the plan to set up a drilling pad there.

“Please do not let this happen to our small town,” Nikki Stansfield said on Sunday as she knocked on doors with her message.

“I haven’t found anything that’s positive for this process in a subdivision with at least 200 homes,” Stansfield said of the plan.

What concerns residents the most is a process called fracking. Drills reach their final depth and then use high pressure and a fluid to break open wells deep in the ground.

Companies aren’t required to disclose what’s in that material but some are believed to use benzene as an active agent. The industry contends it’s a safe process, but environmental groups say the inexact science behind it could contaminate water sources.

RELATED STORY: DeGette Pushes For More Regulation Of Hydraulic Fracturing

“Am I going to raise my family and my child here knowing there could be carcinogens seeping in the ground, in the air, as they bring that waste water out from the fracking material?” Stansfield said.

It’s hard to prove if the drilling will be bad for Stansfield’s family’s health, but she says she knows it will negatively impact her home’s value.

“You have to be involved,” she said. “Don’t just sit back and let this just happen to you. Get there tomorrow and see what we can do to slow this down or just stop it.”

Residents said they were offered royalties for any minerals Ranchers Exploration pulls out of the ground with the drill pad, but one family said those royalties might not exceed $70 a year.

Ranchers Exploration declined an interview with CBS4 but they released a statement on the matter.

“Our goal is to assist the interested parties in their legal right to the value of their mineral deposits while adhering to all the legal and environmental requirements.”

RELATED BLOG ENTRY: Hickenlooper’s Fracking Balancing Act

Earler this month at a Colorado Oil and Gas Association meeting Gov. John Hickenlooper told industry leaders to expect new rules to come out requiring companies to disclose exactly what’s in the fracking fluids they are using. The rules are expected to be in place by the end of the year.

  • Andrea

    A mile? Oh how I wish the gas wells they drill near my house were a whole mile away. I have five surface holes going in about a quarter of a mile from my house right now. The dirt road I live on is constantly busy with semi trucks and drill workers so now my health suffers because of the dust. Not to mention the incessant noise 24/7 the drilling rig produces.

  • Snowcrash

    Facking is not unsafe. Only those who do not understand it and are campaigning en masse are unsafe. I can agree that having a well within a mile of homes is not good for the community, but to rally against it based on a loose understanding of the process in use instead of what your real fears are only hurts the industry. The sky is falling….

    • andrew

      how self-centered and myopic of you to feel that industry has priority over a family’s physical and financial welfare! are you going to deny that the proximity of the operation will not hurt home values? there is not a single case in history where the value either stayed the same or increased for homeowners.

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