STATE OF COLORADO OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION

 

IN THE MATTER OF THE REQUEST BY                                   )

NORTH WASHINGTON WATER USERS                                 )           CAUSE NO. 1

ASSOCIATION OF ADAMS COUNTY TO                                  )

AMEND ORDER NO. 1-72ISSUED BY THE                              )           ORDER NO. 1-83

COLORADO OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION                         )

COMMISSION, ADAMS COUNTY, COLORADO                       )

 

REPORT OF THE COMMISSION

 

                        This cause came on before the Commission at 8:30 a.m. on October 22, 1999, in the Anasazi Room of the La Plata County Court House, 1060 E. 2nd Avenue, Durango, Colorado on the verified application of North Washington Water Users Association of Adams County for an order to amend Order No. 1-72 to provide for remediation to allow the securing of a water tap or taps or other alternative methods of securing water with the City of Thornton, Colorado, and to find that the sum of Three Hundred Twenty Thousand Dollars ($320,000) is an appropriate expenditure for such remediation.

 

FINDINGS

 

                        The Commission finds as follows:

 

                        1. North Washington Water Users Association of Adams County (“NWWUA”) as applicant herein, is an interested party in the subject matter of the above-referenced hearing.

 

                        2. Due notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing has been given in all respects as required by law.

 

                        3. The Commission has jurisdiction of the subject matter embraced in said Notice, and of the parties interested therein, and jurisdiction to promulgate the hereinafter prescribed order.

 

                        4. On August 5, 1997, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (“COGCC”) issued Order No. 1-72 finding Martin Exploration Management Company (“Martin”) and Patina Oil & Gas Corporation (“Patina”) as responsible parties under §34-60-124 (7) and (8), C.R.S., for the contamination of the water well located in the SE¼ SE¼ of Section 10, Township 1 South, Range 68 West, 6th P.M. which is the primary source and supply of water to fifty-two (52) households served by the NWWUA and were ordered to share in the costs to mitigate the significant adverse environmental impact associated with the contamination.

 

                        5.  Subsequent to the issuance of Order No. 1-72, COGCC staff worked with NWWUA to determine the best location for a replacement well to be drilled.  Prior to drilling the replacement well, it came to the attention of the NWWUA Board that the Colorado Department of Transportation intended to place a portion of Highway E-470 on lands for which a replacement well was planned.

 

                        6. On September 14, 1999, NWWUA, by its attorney, filed with the Commission a verified application for an order to amend Order No. 1-72 to provide for remediation to allow the securing of a water tap or taps or other alternative methods of securing water with the City of Thornton, Colorado, and to find that the sum of Three Hundred Twenty Thousand Dollars ($320,000) is an appropriate expenditure for such remediation.

 

                        7.  Exhibits and testimony presented at the administrative hearing described the options available through the City of Thornton, including the purchase of a master water tap from which individual taps can be run to each household or the purchase of individual taps run to each household.  Further testimony indicated that the City prefers individual taps to each household but currently does not have service in front of the 50 properties.  Therefore, there may be a short-term solution to provide a master tap, followed by individual taps once service is installed.  Additional testimony showed that the City estimates the cost for tap fees at $320,000.  This estimate does not include the cost for sewer service with the City.

 

                        8.  Exhibits and testimony presented at the administrative hearing indicated that the City of Thornton is very interested in providing water to NWWUA properties and as such they should be able to finalize a plan for installation by March 2000.  Further testimony estimated that installation should be able to be commenced by July 2000, however it is uncertain when completion could be anticipated.

 

                        9.  Exhibits and testimony presented at the administrative hearing showed that the City of Thornton will not allow a cross connection water system so that neither of the existing water wells currently serving the fifty (50) households can continue to provide water once the properties are converted.

 

                        10.  COGCC staff indicated that the contaminated water well will be plugged and abandoned using Environmental Response Fund monies and any monies obtained from equipment salvaged from the well.

 

                        11.  At the time of the administrative hearing, NWWUA agreed to be bound by oral order of the Commission.

 

                        12. Based on the facts stated in the application and the testimony and exhibits presented at the time of the administrative hearing by the applicant, the Commission should approve the request to amend Order No. 1-72 to provide for remediation by allowing the securing of a water tap or taps or other alternative methods of securing water with the City of Thornton, Colorado, and to find that the sum of Three Hundred Twenty Thousand Dollars ($320,000) is an appropriate expenditure for such remediation.

 

ORDERED

 

                        NOW, THEREFORE IT IS ORDERED that the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission issue an order to amend Order No. 1-72 to provide for remediation by allowing the securing of a water tap or taps or other alternative methods of securing water with the City of Thornton, Colorado.

 

                        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, the sum of Three Hundred Twenty Thousand Dollars ($320,000) shall be considered an appropriate expenditure for such remediation. 

 

                        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, the supplemental request to the Joint Budget Committee for authorization to expend these funds shall include a two-year timeframe over which the funds may be appropriated.

 

                        IT IS FURTHER ORDEREDTHAT Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission staff shall use Environmental Response Fund monies to plug, abandon and reclaim the water well located in the SE¼ SE¼ of Section 10, Township 1 South, Range 68 West, 6th P.M. once water is provided to the fifty (50) households.

 

                        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the provisions contained in the above order shall become effective forthwith, as the party agreed to accept the verbal order of the Commission.

 

                        IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission expressly reserves its right, after notice and hearing, to alter, amend or repeal any and/or all of the above orders.

 

                        ENTERED this                 day of November, as of October 22 1999.

 

                                    OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION

                                        OF THE STATE OF COLORADO

 

 

 

 

By                                                                              

            Patricia C. Beaver, Secretary

 

Dated at Suite 801

1120 Lincoln Street

Denver, Colorado 80203

November 9, 1999