NewsFront RangeFort Lupton


Ft. Lupton neighborhood fights back against second proposed natural gas plant close to homes

Phase II of the project is 54 acres in size
Posted at 8:52 PM, Dec 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-19 22:52:03-05

FORT LUPTON, Colo. -- Neighbors in Ft. Lupton's Buffalo Ridge Estates say oil and gas development is taking over their once quiet rural community.

"There was no gas, no oil well, no nothing and in the last couple years... it just moved in on us," said Edward Engle, the neighborhood's HOA president.

He said the neighborhood is fighting back against a second, much larger proposed natural gas processing plant that will be even closer to homes.

"I mean, virtually they're gonna be right out our backdoor," Engle said. "The plant's going to be, by their measurements, about 1,400 feet."

Discovery Natural Resources wants to build the plant, known as phase II. It already operates the current plant which is a little over 20 acres.

The new facility being proposed is 54-acres in size and would add thousands of miles of pipelines carrying non-odorous gas.

Cory Jordan, the company's chief operating officer, told Weld County Commissioners during a public hearing Tuesday that safety is a top priority. He said the operator has an automatic shutdown system and detailed emergency plan in place, if any of the pipelines were to leak.

Jordan also stressed that Discovery has staff onsite 24 hours a day, and has taken several steps to mitigate neighbors' concerns including dust and traffic.

"We're well within what appears to be a danger zone, if something bad happened," Adam Olson, another concerned homeowner, told Denver7.

"The dust we've put up with over the last year, every time the wind blows, all the sand and dust just blows through our neighborhood," Engle said.

From the dust, to the noise, to the safety concerns -- neighbors want county commissioners to hear their concerns, but in a county known for being pro-oil and gas, they fear their voices won't be heard.

"The county commissioners... they just hand them the keys to the city, anything that's oil and gas and say 'have at it,'" Engle said.

The planning committee approved Discovery's proposal on Tuesday.

Weld County Commissioners will vote whether to approve the new plant during a meeting on Jan. 17.