Dear Editor,

Neither the BLM nor the National Park Service are prepared for the consequences of fracking in the Big Flat area.

The primary problem is that the Big Flat area is 2,000 to 2,500 feet above the Green River. Many of the protective sandstone layers that overlay the top of Big Flat do not overlay the area in the deep canyons that lead down to the Green River. Fracking chemicals under high pressure tend to move to areas that have less layers of protection.

The Environmental Analysis prepared by the BLM for Fidelity did not include any analysis of the dangers of fracking. Fidelity told the BLM they would or could not frack the wells in the Big Flat area. The EAs are deficient in the following areas:

Big Flat is the recharge zone for many springs in the large canyons surrounding the area. The springs are located both inside Canyonlands National Park and on BLM property.

The Big Flat area is the recharge zone for Courthouse Wash, which is a major source of water for Arches National Park.

The springs in the area have not been analyzed for chemical content prior to fracking. There is no baseline to prove fracking chemicals are leaching into the springs.

The BLM has not reviewed the geology of the area in any EA. The direction the rock layers slope will dictate the movement of fracking chemical. The Green River is drinking water for over 30 million people. The river is 2,500 feet below the wells that are being fracked.

What You Can Do:

1. SUWA and the Sierra Club are protesting the BLM’s decision not to fully review the problems of the Big Flat area with a full Environmental Impact Statement. The prior studies are incomplete and will not protect Moab, Arches National Park or Canyonlands National Park.

Email Beth Ransel, Manager of the Local BLM Office, at bransel@blm.gov, and the following five at the state BLM office: jpalma@blm.gov, rbankert@blm.gov, wwphelps@blm.gov, khoffman@blm.gov, mdekeyre@blm.gov.

Ask the BLM to suspend all fracking until a full EIS is completed for the Big Flat area.

2. Canyonlands and Arches national parks need to ask the BLM to suspend all fracking in the Big Flat area until an EIS is completed. The available information on the area is insufficient. Contact the park Supervisor Kate Cannon at kate_cannon@nps.gov.