by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — The Huerfano County Hospital District’s Board of Directors were pleased to receive a $25,000 donation to the emergency department upgrade from Shell Exploration and Production during the regular board meeting Monday, December 3, 2012.
Representatives Ineke Schwartz of the oil company’s Venture Support Integration office, Katelyn Roberts, Community Relations Representative and Larry Kinnaird the company’s land broker attended the meeting and presented the check to the board.
While it is rare for the oil company to make a donation for a ‘brick and mortar’ project, it was pointed out the inclusion of a decontamination area in the renovation was being done, in part, due to the company’s drilling and possible future oil production efforts in Huerfano County.
Another guest at the board meeting was Gardner area resident and community activist, Dale Lyons, who made a short presentation regarding a baseline health survey and odor symptom log she is sending out to residents who live near the well Shell is currently drilling in the Gardner area.
The survey and log were developed by Wilma Subra of Subra Company and are being used with her permission by Lyons. Lyons told the board the baseline survey will document pre-drilling health of residents and may be referenced later if any health issues occur during energy extraction. She said the data, which if voluntary, will be stored at La Clinica in Gardner and all information will be kept confidential. If any of the data from the survey is requested, the names and addresses of those who fill out the survey will be omitted and could only be released with the permission of the individual involved. “You can fill this out as directed anonymously,” Lyons said.
She told the board during her 15 minutes presentation that odors are the most common complaint reported by residents who live near drill sites. The odor log may be filled out by residents and sent back to Lyon in the event of an odor incident.
Board member Al Tucker led board members in recognition of all the work, effort, and expense Lyons has taken upon herself as a watchdog during Shell Oil’s work in the county. “We will all have to pay close attention as 2013 unfolds and we see what develops,” board president Dr. David Zehring said.