Erie neighbors concerned about new gas pipeline close to homes

Posted at 8:00 PM, Oct 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-24 22:00:30-04

ERIE, Colo. -- In Erie's Vista Ridge neighborhood, fracking has become a way of life.
"We in this neighborhood, we are fracked -- we're done! We've lost the battle against fracking in our small community," said Christiaan van Woudenberg, who lives behind the Pratt fracking site in Erie.
Crestone Peak Resources has said it plans to wind down fracking operations at both its Pratt and Waste Connection sites by the end of the year. Neighbors are now concerned about the natural gas gathering line being installed a few hundred feet from homes.
"It's too close to homes," Lori Thomas who also lives in Vista Ridge said.
"For us as residents walking by we won't ever know that there's a leak," explained van Woudenberg.
That's because the natural gas flowing through the gathering line is non-odorous, and not yet treated with chemicals that allow it to be detected.
"What happens if it explodes like in Firestone and hurts or kills somebody," said Thomas.
The deadly explosion in Firestone investigators found was caused by an abandoned Anadarko gas line that had been leaking non-odorous gas into the family's home for months.
"While the likelihood of an event like that is low, um it's not zero," said van Woudenberg.
Crestone Peak Resources said it is selling the natural gas produced from both of its fracking sites to Anadarko who is responsible for operating the natural gas gathering line being installed.
Jennifer Brice, a spokeswoman for Anadarko said the company is installing a 10-inch low-pressure steel in an existing utility corridor in full cooperation with the town of Erie and the developer.
"In the interest of safety, we have programs in place to maintain the integrity of the line once it is installed. We will conduct what is known as 'smart pigging' operations, where we periodically run a probe through the steel line to measure wall thickness and detect any potential issues that must be addressed," said Brice in a statement.
Anadarko said it would run those tests on a monthly basis. Brice also said the oil and gas operator would use aerial technology to detect any methane leaks and reimburse any concerned homeowners within half-a-mile of the operations for the cost of a home methane detector.
But that's little comfort for van Woudenberg.
"I don't think there's a safe, not at this distance to homes," he said.