Complaint Filed Against Earth-Shaking Gas Drillers in Payette County

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A formal complaint has been filed against a company that has been shaking up Payette County in its attempts to find natural gas.

In August 2012, BW reported that Alta Mesa was conducting unique "vibroseising" tests to determine where it might next drill for gas.

"The vibroseising will last approximately 10 seconds. We'll pause for three seconds and then start shaking again," engineer Brent McNeill told BW in 2012. "We probably won't run these in intervals more than three minutes each."

But Payette County resident Pattie Young says the the shaking was hitting a little too close to home, and when she confronted a "vibroseising" worker, "he didn't know there was such a rule," that required that the truck be at least 200 feet from her home. Young estimated that the truck was less than 50 feet away.

Young said she contacted the Idaho Department of Lands, which promptly sent out three IDL workers to investigate.

The gas exploration company insisted to state officials that they were farther away from Young's home than what she had reported, but Young insisted they were stretching the truth.

Boise Weekly has chronicled the burgeoning gas drilling industry, which has been trying to jump-start in earnest since Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter was bragging that Bridge Resources had "hit a hell of a big well." Bridge went on to continue leasing properties from landowners and drilling several exploratory wells. But following a series of investigative reports by Boise Weekly, Bridge's financial house of cards collapsed, selling off its leases to the next round of developers.

Since then Texas-based Alta Mesa Services snapped up a number of leases and wells from Bridge and moved forward with its plans to build a natural gas processing plant near U.S. Highway 30, south of New Plymouth.