Help flood BLM with concerns about RMR’s water well drilling proposal
The Glenwood Springs Citizens’ Alliance is asking supporters to write a brief letter to BLM expressing concerns about a proposal by Rocky Mountain Resources (RMR) to drill five water-monitoring wells on the Transfer Trail mountainside.
The Glenwood Springs Citizens’ Alliance and its team of experts are preparing detailed technical comments to submit to BLM. It’s very important for BLM to also hear from many people in the community.
Please help our cause by taking time to write and submit a comment letter to BLM.
Letters are due by end of the day on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.
Two ways to submit: Letters can be submitted through a portal on the BLM website, or via email. Details in the Instructions section below.
ISSUES AND CONCERNS FOR YOUR COMMENTS
Background: BLM is seeking scoping comments from the public. The purpose of scoping comments is to raise issues for BLM to consider prior to issuing a permit for the drilling.
Hydrology and the presence of groundwater in the quarry expansion area is one of five advance studies BLM is conducting. Results of these studies will be used in the Environmental Impact Statement study process, which is to begin in mid-2020.
RMR proposes drilling the water monitoring wells an estimated 125 to 250 feet down through the Leadville Limestone Formation, which is known to hold groundwater aquifers. RMR proposes using the existing Transfer Trail roadway to access the well sites.
Format: Scoping comments raise questions and concerns about issues. Anyone can submit useful scoping comments – not just experts! We want BLM to hear from you and many others so BLM officials understand the importance of this issue in our community.
Comments can be worded in a simple manner and don’t have to include technical details. Here are some examples:
- “I am concerned about how this drilling activity will affect habitat for bighorn sheep.”
- “Please study the impacts of this drilling proposal on our delicate geothermal hot springs aquifers.”
- “How visible will the drilling access roads and well pads be? I am worried about visible new scars on the Transfer Trail mountainside.”
ALL COMMENTS should include this request:
RMR’s water well drilling proposal presents many serious issues. It should be subjected to more in-depth review, release of all related documents to the public, and opportunities for public comment through an Environmental Assessment process. I oppose BLM fast-tracking RMR’s request through the Categorical Exclusion process.
Issues to raise:
- Damage to geothermal aquifers that feed the hot springs in Glenwood Springs. How will BLM ensure that drilling does not harm the aquifer network?
- Penetration of caves and risks of exposing delicate cavern systems to the atmosphere.
- Disruption of wildlife habitat, including critical winter range for bighorn sheep, mule deer and mountain lion.
- Disturbance of hibernation areas for bats.
- Visible scars on the Transfer Trail mountainside from creating road access and well pads.
- Destruction of historic Native American travel routes and occupation sites.
- Damage to the historic pioneer route up Transfer Trail to Carbonate, the original county seat for Garfield County.
- Additional documents describing this project have not been posted to the scoping process webpage. Why have these important documents been withheld from the public?
- Effects that you would experience personally (job security, enjoyment of Glenwood’s natural beauty) from any of these impacts.
LINKS TO BLM AND RMR DOCUMENTS
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMITTING COMMENTS
Comments may be submitted through the BLM website OR via email.
Through the BLM website:
BLM document submission web page
- In the “Scoping Period” area at the bottom of the page, click on the “Comment on Document” button.
- You can upload your letter as an attachment, or you can copy and paste the text into a comment field.
- Then click the “Next” button in the bottom right corner of the page.
- On the next page, you’ll be asked to provide your name, address, email and phone number. Click the “Next” button again to review and finalize your submission.
to Mr. Larry Sandoval at BLM at this address (note the underscore characters):
Letters are due by end of the day on Thursday, Oct. 24.