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Fracking site soon to go up next to Erie school

Posted: 12:39 AM, Mar 31, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-31 02:39:39-04

The Boulder Valley School Board is moving forward with the construction of a new K-8 school even though it’s right next to a potential fracking site.

Chris Busch, who lives in the area, has no concerns about sending his children to the new school.

“I would probably be more worried about my son crossing the street and being hit by a car than a closed loop no-emission oil system,” Busch said.

Despite a few opponents who warned of spills, blowouts, or even the possibility of increased earthquake activity, Busch feels the site will be safe because a new drilling system will even prevent any emissions.

“It was desperately needed here in this neighborhood and it was something we were promised when we moved in here -- [it] was to have a school built for us that was in the Boulder Valley School District,” said Busch.

Busch helped collect 400 signatures so construction would go on as planned. That construction is set to begin next month and the school will open in 2017.

If the board had not approved the plan the school would have been moved, the opening would have been delayed, and construction would have cost millions of dollars more.

The deal to built the drilling site next to a school came through with a compromise.

The oil and gas company Anadarko said it will not drill on the adjacent land as long as any students are in school. 

"We would create a window, most likely in the summer months, when they [crews] would conduct that activity,” said Boulder Valley Superintendent Dr. Bruce Messinger.

Dr. Messinger said this is an example of how private companies and government can work together. All the safety standards the district set will also apply to any future companies that might want to drill.

“We don’t know when oil and gas may be developed on this property. It may be five years or it may be twenty years, but our interest is to maintain a relationship with whoever may have that service lease,” said Messinger.

Messinger is also comforted by the fact that the company will use a pipeline to take oil and gas away to a production site, and will undergo regular safety checks.

The oil and gas company also released a statement to Denver7 saying they’re committed to this plan and are excited to work with the school district.

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