GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- - The Bureau of Land Management is extending the time period for public comments on a proposed oil development plan near Whitewater, about 15 miles southeast of Grand Junction. The comments were originally required by July 28, but now the comment period will not end until August 28.
The BLM released an updated environmental assessment of Fram Operating, LLC's Whitewater Master Development Plan on June 28. The plan proposes 108 new oil wells on 12 new well pads over a period of four years, and eleven of the pads would be located on BLM land. One of the well pads would be on private surface land with federally owned minerals underneath it.
According to Fram, the project would produce around 8.7 million barrels of oil over 20 years and provide about 70 jobs through both construction and year-round jobs.
The Master Development Plan for this proposal was first submitted in 2011, and now the updated version of the environmental assessment includes an analysis on hydraulic fracturing. Fram Operating, LLC now believes hydraulic fracturing will be the most effective way to access the oil in the Mancos Shale Formation. The updated environmental assessment can be found at this link: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/nepa/61293/111074/135993/Updated_Whitewater_EA_2017_Preliminary.pdf
The BLM gave more time for comments on this plan after the public requested the time. Many felt there were many factors to consider with the plan, and they wanted time to formulate a proper response. "Be involved in the process. The big difference between this and the 2014 decision record is that we're looking at well stimulation, and that's something we need to hear the public's comments on after they review the analysis," said Chris Joyner, the Public Affairs Specialist for the BLM.
The comments have thirty more days to be submitted. They must be submitted by August 28 and can be mailed to the BLM office addressed as follows - ATTN: Whitewater MDP, 2300 River Frontage Road, Silt, CO 81652. They can also be emailed to email@example.com.