How does a well site affect wildlife, air and water quality?
Most of the Wattenberg field is in a quickly developing region of northeastern Colorado. This is an area where there is already a great deal of human activity. Because of this, oil and gas operations in Wattenberg may have minimal impact on wildlife. The State of Colorado requires well sites to have emission control devices to minimize any impact to air quality. The State also requires methods to minimize run-off during drilling operations. Any leakage from the well or other facilities should be contained in the event of a breach. This is why containment structures such as berms are required.
Most residents in northeast Colorado receive their water through a treated water system rather than from individual water wells. Strict regulations are in place by state agencies to protect the quality of water. This includes well water throughout the region. If there are significant natural resources near the proposed drill site, various techniques are applied to minimize adverse impacts. Natural resources could include a raptor nesting site, wetlands, water well, or flood plain. Timing construction to avoid conflicts with the rearing of fledgling birds or well relocation to reduce impacts to wetlands could be considered. Relocation could also happen if there are conflicts with the flood way or existing water well.