COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) – Some residents in Commerce City are upset over a drilling operation near their homes. Hilcorp Energy is testing a well to see how much oil is at the location and residents are concerned about the adverse effects of the process. A meeting in Commerce City City Council is scheduled for Monday evening.
The oil well is southwest of E-470 and 104th Avenue. The Reunion subdivision of Commerce City is just across the field from the fracking operation, which uses chemicals, sand and water pressure to extract oil and natural gas from underground.
Residents held an emergency meeting Saturday night after finding out about the fracking plan. A representative from Hilcorp Energy attended the meeting to address concerns, but many residents say they still have a lot more questions.
The well has produced oil in the past.
“The environmental concerns that we have are air pollution. There is a lot of smoke and debris and how much of that is chemicals into the air?” a Reunion subdivision resident told CBS4.
“How it’s going to impact our children and our health,” another resident said. “I’m pretty upset about it and I’m not sure how long they’re going to be over there drilling.”
Neighbors are concerned about not only any immediate effects, but also long-term effects.
“Down the road there may be something that happens that could cause toxins in the environment,” another resident said.
The land between the subdivision and the well has been earmarked for an elementary school.
“We want to understand exactly what the rules are,” city councilmember Jason McEldowney said.
McEldowney gave credit to the energy company’s representative that showed up to the meeting, but would like a more thorough meeting.
“We were obviously concerned in that we didn’t have any notification. On one hand we understand that the site, well it sits 100 or 200 yards from homes; sits in the county. We are obviously standing here in the city, but it’s within a stone’s throw of the homes that sit right here,” McEldowney said.
Some residents say even if they have their questions answered, it might not make a dent in their fears.
“I don’t know if there is any amount of information that can make me feel better about fracking going on five blocks from my house,” a resident said.
Hilcorp Energy couldn’t be reached for an interview by CBS4 on Sunday but CBS4 learned the company is planning an in-depth town hall meeting some time after Thanksgiving.
Some residents told CBS4 they are comfortable with the fracking process and that the plan is good for the economy. They say it creates jobs and some self-sufficiency as far as oil is concerned.