July 19–A group of residents that railed against a company’s proposal to build a gas processing plant near their homes in southern Weld County learned Tuesday that dreams of keeping their neighborhood quiet will remain intact.
Discovery DJ Services, the company that proposed building a cryogenic gas processing plant near a quiet stretch of Weld County Road 63 where they live, announced to neighbors Tuesday evening that the company plans to build the plant at an industrial site on Weld County Road 398, northeast of the Keenesburg town center and near Interstate 76, instead.
Casey Nikoloric, Discovery’s community engagement manager, said although the company took the neighbors’ concerns into consideration, the move also made sense as a business decision.
“Community input is something Discovery always values,” she said. “Just as important is our ability to serve customer needs and make sound business decisions.”
“We were very relieved and very happy that Discovery took the steps that they took.
— Sara Phelps, resident
The plant’s new location, which will be several miles northeast of the Keenesburg town center, is closer to drilling and production facilities, as well as a large power source. Those all will come in handy, she said, as the company plans a facility that will process natural gas from Weld County wells by cooling it to sub-zero temperatures to condense liquids before shipping the natural gas and the liquids to market via a pipeline.
Sara Phelps, who lives directly across from land Discovery was considering for the facility, the Kiowa Natural Gas Processing Plant, said neighbors are relieved.
It wasn’t their goal to discourage the company from operating, she said, but after researching similar gas operations, neighbors didn’t think it made sense to put an industrial footprint in an area that is mostly agricultural.
Among the neighbors’ top concerns, she said, were that the plant potentially could create an odor, affect water quality and traffic. On top of those concerns, the plant is set to operate 24/7, according to Weld County documents, so they were concerned about bright lights at night and that it would have been noisy.
“We were very relieved and very happy that Discovery took the steps that they took,” she said, adding that the neighbors have been speaking out against the plant since March, when the company started hosting meetings with neighbors about the plant.
After the company notified the neighbors of the meetings, Phelps said, neighbors began to mobilize, creating a Facebook page to update residents about the plant, writing letters to the Board of Weld County Commissioners and attending meetings organized by the company in droves.
Phelps said the community also took pointers from the neighbors who mobilized against a proposed Martin Marietta Materials concrete and asphalt plant in Johnstown.
“We weren’t going to get lawyers involved,” Phelps said. “But we really pushed the issue. We decided to put pressure on them.”
— Sara Knuth covers government for The Tribune. You can reach her at (970) 392-4412, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SaraKnuth.
This story has been updated to accurately reflect the process Discovery DJ Services goes through to process gas before sending it to market.
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