Letters: McWhinney, Centerra and fracking

Titled – McWhinney, Centerra and fracking

Last year, we purchased a home in the Lakes at Centerra area in Loveland, a McWhinney-developed community that boasts a “sustainable lifestyle”. The co-located High Plains Environmental Center carries the coveted “Certified Wild” designation from the National Wildlife Federation. Three lakes are nearby, and the paths and wildlife around them are enjoyed by residents at all times of the year. A quick web search on “Lakes at Centerra” reveals multiple pages emphasizing the idea of living in harmony with nature. Most residents of Lakes at Centerra as well as those in High Plains Village purchased their homes with these very amenities being very important. Hence, the proposal from McWhinney to begin hydraulic fracturing very near/underneath the Lakes at Centerra is both shocking and appalling.

The proposed 26 wells will be in close proximity to our lakes, as well as Medical Center of the Rockies, a K-8 STEAM school, Loveland Sports Park, senior housing, and many apartments, townhomes, and businesses. If approved, the fracking process will impose upon us increased noise levels, light and air pollution, and possible seismic activity. In addition, millions of gallons of freshwater are required to frack each well. From what source will that water originate in our drought-stricken state – Our own nearby lakes? Or drawn from our rivers and trucked in on local roads which will be negatively impacted by the constant traffic? And where will the polluted frackwater be disposed of, this forever-toxic cocktail of radioactive materials and heavy metals?

Loveland voters are watching. We respectfully ask that McWhinney and the City of Loveland revisit this idea and come up with an alternative that both remunerates McWhinney for its investment in the community while also complementing, not harming, the thriving environment that has been created here at Centerra.

It would seem that the concerns of many Loveland residents/voters are being set aside in favor of McWhinney Real Estate Investment and Development Company priorities. To be fair, the City of Loveland and Centerra have received some good from McWhinney projects. As the Lakes at Centerra website touts, “The Lakes is a single facet of the thriving ecosystem known as Centerra.” However, if fracking is implemented nearby, that thriving ecosystem and the health of Centerra residents will be threatened. Of equal importance are the millions of gallons of water needed to frack, all for a time-limited return on investment for oil and gas. We are incredibly dismayed by this fracking proposal from McWhinney and feel its execution so near these at-risk areas is not in the best interests of anyone except those who may profit from oil and gas production and those who are saying “yes” to the power brokers at play.

Diane & Doug Hutchinson

Link to full LTE at the Reporter-Herald.

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