GELLC is committed to protecting the natural environment to the maximum extent possible. Our employees work and live in the area and utilize the area for recreational activities like hunting and hiking. Therefore, they appreciate the importance of conducting our operations in compliance with all rules and regulations and in a manner which minimizes our impacts to the natural beauty and resources of the area.
Protection of the quantity and quality of local water supplies is of paramount concern to GELLC. GELLC implemented a broad baseline water sampling program over large parts of Delta and Gunnison Counties prior to drilling any wells. This baseline sampling program included sampling water in domestic water wells, streams and other water sources so that the current quality of water in the area is fully understood and any changes to it can be carefully monitored. GELLC is proud to report that our operations have not had an adverse impact on the water resources of the area. GELLC will continue this water monitoring program to provide assurance to local residents that their water resources are being monitored and protected.
One of the ways GELLC protects water resources is to ensure there is no communication between the fresh surface water resources and the deeper gas zones targeted by GELLC. GELLC does this by lining each well with at least two fully-cemented, steel casings through the fresh water surface zones. Then, the rest of the well below the fresh water surface zones will be fully lined with steel casing and cemented in place. This means that effectively four separate barriers will protect the surface zones: a layer of cement, an outer steel casing, another layer of cement and, finally, another inner steel casing.
Independent hydrology studies of the Grand Mesa area conducted by Wright Water Engineers, Inc., Cordilleran Compliance Services, Inc. and verified by Delta County confirm GELLC’s conclusion that water supplies are not at risk of contamination or depletion. The US Forest Service and US Geological Survey have reached similar conclusions.
The water utilized by Delta and Gunnison County residents is located almost exclusively in the relatively shallow near surface alluvium and colluvium rock formations. These zones are separated from potential gas producing shale, sand and coal zones by thousands of feet of impermeable rock. It has been proven that there is no communication between the fresh surface water in the shallow zones with water or gas in the deeper zones.