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Fracking operation begins, residents have concerns

7:57 PM, Nov 20, 2011   |    comments
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The operation will take place near the intersection of Tower Road and 104th Street, headed up by Halliburton and Hilcorp, among other companies.

Commerce City Council members say they have concerns about residents being properly notified and plan to discuss the issue at Monday's meeting.

In a neighborhood meeting on Saturday night, residents said they want to make sure the operation is safe, especially for the many kids that live and play in the neighborhood. They were joined by Commerce City Mayor Sean Ford, and several city council members.

"We just want to know the process and how often there is a problem. What do those problems consist of? I want to make sure they are safe," Ford said.

"We moved out here to raise our family in a safe manner," said resident Taylor Carpenter. "We have a great community full of wonderful, activist people. The interesting thing is not only is it really close to homes, but directly on the other side of the line of where those pumps are is a proposed elementary school."

Carpenter said she's worried about contamination, toxic chemicals, and safety in the neighborhood.

"I like to farm in my backyard, but I'm not necessarily confident I'll be able to do that next summer," she said.

A representative from Hilcorp met with the neighbors on Saturday and did his best to answer their questions and address their concerns.

"This will be our first well to frack in Colorado," he said. "There are routine tests that we are required to do on our wells, and the state requires us to do that to ensure their integrity."
Still, this remains a fight the neighbors say they won't be quick to give up.

"I would really like to see that well capped and be done with," Carpenter said. "We would like to live in the community safely."

As it stands presently, the fracking operation is only set to last for a few hours on Sunday. The goal is to determine if it's worthwhile to keep working in that location and at this point the oil companies say it's still too early to tell if that will be the case.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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