ECA is hard at work on the Belfry well, and — no surprise — they’re already “bringing the Bakken to the Beartooths”

Energy Corporation of America (ECA) began work last week on the well in Belfry recently permitted by the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC). A local resident reports, “They unloaded equipment on Wednesday and Thursday, and by Saturday we had a full city, including phone.” 

Belfry well_051714

Consistent with the company’s pledge to “bring the Bakken to the Beartooths, ” ECA is already engaging in questionable activity. The company is drawing water out of a gravel pit on a neighboring property, which, according to local residents, is not covered by ECA’s permit. The residents say they have been told by the Montana Department of Natural Resources Conservation that even though the pit is on private property, the water in the pit belongs to a common ditch and is the common property of area residents. Neighbors share this ditch, which is governed by a board of property owners. The board would have to give permission before the water could be used.

The residents plan to file a complaint today.

This behavior is consistent with everything we have learned about ECA. We know that they were serial polluters in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, with 66 inspections with violations, 90 separate violations, 55 enforcement actions, with fines totaling over $80,000 in Pennsylvania alone. We know that the company was sued in a class action lawsuit alleging they failed to pay royalties due landowners. 

At the very least the company is guilty of failing to deal with neighbors of the Belfry well in a straightforward way. Those who hoped ECA would be a “good neighbor” were dreaming. This kind of contentious behavior, where drillers ignore the concerns of local citizens, is apparently what John Mork meant when he promised to bring “the Bakken to the Beartooths.”

One note — trucks on site are from Larry Songer Trucking in Lewistown and Triple H Trucking out of Bridger.

If you’re new to this subject you might want to read these related blog posts:

ACTION UPDATE on 5/20/2014 at 10PM

A protest has been filed with the DNRC. Support the protest by contacting the head of the DNRC office in billings:

Kim Overcast

Please do it right away!

More photos taken in the last few days:

Oil pad construction
Well pad construction

Well pad construction

Tanker truck
Tanker truck

Oil Development 017

About davidjkatz

The Moses family has lived on the Stillwater River since 1974, when George and Lucile Moses retired and moved to the Beehive from the Twin Cities. They’re gone now, but their four daughters (pictured at left, on the Beehive) and their families continue to spend time there, and have grown to love the area. This blog started as an email chain to keep the family informed about the threat of increased fracking activity in the area, but the desire to inform and get involved led to the creation of this blog.
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1 Response to ECA is hard at work on the Belfry well, and — no surprise — they’re already “bringing the Bakken to the Beartooths”

  1. Pingback: Action update: Tell the DNRC about ECA illegal water use in Belfry | Preserve the Beartooth Front

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