Concerns about Oil Wells in the County
This is a great question asked through our campaign email. We thought it might be of interest to the group.
Mr. Hollingshead, I would like to know what your opinion is concerning the oils wells that are constructed so close to people’s homes. There are concerns from people about employees of the oil company such as truck drivers who speed down gravel roads in the county. How would you address the concerns when there are violations from employees of these oil companies?
Thank you for the great question. This is an issue that Laramie County has been dealing with for quite some time now. Although I’m not a fan of wells in close proximity to some of the homes in the community, we have come up with ways to mitigate the issues as much as possible.
First and foremost, we ensure that we have a good working relationship with the foreman of each of the sites and have a valid 24-hour contact number for them. If/when complaints come in, we can deal with the complaint directly through a representative of the company.
In many of the instances over the years, the foreman or another company representative addresses the issue with the employees working the site to correct the matter. Some of the things that they have done to address the issues have been to erect additional speed limit signs in the areas they are working as a reminder to their employees. Ina few instances, they have purchased radar equipment and assigned their own staff to monitor the truck traffic coming and going from their sites. When complaints still come in after these efforts are taken, we assign deputies to work traffic details and issue citations.
One of the things we have noticed when conducting traffic enforcement especially during the dry summer months is, although the trucks seem as though they are speeding down the road due to the dust they are kicking up, when they are tracked on radar, they are maintaining the speed limit. That is not to say that there are not a number of them who are speeding; it is just that we have found that the majority of them actually aren’t when checked.
What we have seen, with some exceptions, is the oil companies trying to maintain a positive relationship with the communities and subdivisions, but when that is not happening, we step in. As an agency we cannot dictate where oil wells are erected but we make every effort to deal, as quickly as possible, with any issues of this nature that come up. Please let me know if this is not the case and I will pass on your concerns to the Patrol Captain to address. If I’m your next Sheriff, I will ensure that we keep up on this issue, as it will not go away anytime in the near future. With the missile silo project starting up in the next year or so, I’m sure we will see additional issues with contractors causing traffic related issues as well.