DEL NORTE — Due to distractions from the West Fork Fire Complex, Rio Grande County Commissioners on Monday asked the Bureau of Land Management to extend the public comment period on a proposed oil drilling application near Del Norte.
The BLM had scheduled July 18 as the deadline for public comments on a preliminary environmental assessment for the proposed San Francisco Creek #1 Well application for permit to drill from the Dan A. Hughes Company.
Rio Grande County Commissioner Karla Shriver reported during a Rio Grande Roundtable meeting on Tuesday that the county asked for a 15-day extension for comments “because of the fire situation.” The county has not been formally notified that the extension has been granted.
The proposed exploratory oil and gas well would be drilled on a 35-acre lot owned by the Dan A. Hughes Company near County Road 13, approximately five miles south of Del Norte. San Francisco Creek is about a mile away from the proposed drilling pad and access road.
The project area is within a small rural subdivision made up of approximately 33 lots that are 35-40 acres in size.
The federal mineral rights below the private land were leased for 10 years from the Bureau of Land Management in 2006.
Last fall the BLM conducted public scoping measures for the San Francisco Creek Application for Permit to Drill and over the course of a 30-day period received 42 written comments addressing a wide range of resource concerns. The public comments identified many issues addressed within the environmental analysis, such as water and air quality, wildlife, visual resources and geology.
The BLM also received many comments encouraging consideration of the Rio Grande County Hydrogeologic study.
The BLM announced it would collect public comments on the draft environmental analysis for 30-day period before finalizing the document and making a decision on the Application for Permit to Drill. Comments were to be received by July 18 to the San Luis Valley Public Lands Center, Attention: Paul Tigan, 1803 W. Highway 160, Monte Vista 81144. Comments could also be submitted electronically to BLM_CO_SLVPLC_Comments@blm.gov
To view the EA and other information concerning the proposed well, log on to www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/slvfo/Current_Planning_Efforts/San_Francisco_APD1.html or call Paul Tigan at 852-6274.