Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rio Arriba County Special Use Permits to Drill for Oil and Gas

Rio Arriba County is not unfamiliar with oil and gas drilling. From the 1980's to 2008, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico had reportedly 7,597 oil and gas wells. In 2009, more than 400 additional wells have been or are intended to be drilled. In May 2009, Rio Arriba County adopted an oil and gas ordinance in regards to Approach Operating, LLC targeting the water-rich, fragile ecosystem of the Rio Chama Watershed for exploratory drillings (aka, "wildcatting"). Up to this time, the oil and gas drilling had primarily been the San Juan Basin portion of Rio Arriba County.

In addition, the County protested to the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission (OCC) 24 applications to drill (APDs) by Approach Operating , LLC. In July 2008, Governor Richardson directed the OCD to draft special rules for oil and gas drilling in certain areas of Rio Arriba County (i.e., Tierra Amarilla and portions of the Rio Chama Watershed). This did not occur. Subsequently, Approach Operating, LLC sought dismissal of the case and the County agreed.

Presently, the Oil Conservation Division (OCD) has approved eight APDs and Rio Arriba County Planning and Zoning Committee has recommended for approval three special use permits for five oil and gas wells in the Rio Chama Watershed of Rio Arriba County. On December 29, 2009, the three County permits will go before the Rio Arriba Board of County Commissioners in Tierra Amarilla. The public meeting is scheduled to begin at 1:30pm:

Rio Arriba County:

For Contact, please go through the ESPANOLA OFFICE
1122 Industrial Park Rd
Espanola, NM 87532
Phone: (505) 753-7774
Fax: (505) 753-4732

The meeting will be held at the TA OFFICE:

PO Box 127
Tierra Amarilla, NM 87575
Phone: (575) 588-7254
Fax: (575) 588-7810


Rio Arriba County Approach Operating, LLC Permits, Combined (3 permits for 5 wells)>>>>

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