DACONO — City council gave unanimous approval Nov. 25 to Dawson Geophysical Company for right-of-way access for seismic testing in the area.
“This is a revocable license agreement for seismic testing,” City Administrator A.J. Euckert told council before the vote. “What seismic testing does is it uses technology to produce maps of the geological layers. And this data is created in an attempt to locate the exact positions of oil and gas reservoirs.”
To generate these seismic images, Euckert said the company will employ specialized trucks to direct low-force vibrations into the ground.
“These acoustic waves, also known as seismic, penetrate deep into the earth, bouncing off geologic layers before reflecting back up to the surface,” Euckert said. “Read back at the surface, this seismic data is recorded by many small sensors called geophones, which are temporarily planted in the soil in a line several miles long, for this purpose.”
The licensing agreement permits seismic testing survey to utilize the city of Dacono’s right of way for a specific purpose and time period.
“This licensing agreement doesn’t apply to the use of private property, nor does it authorize placement of equipment on private property,” Euckert said. “The timeline to begin testing is mid-January to February of next year. Testing is anticipated to take one to two days, although the equipment will be in place longer.”
Seismic testing took place in the city a year ago, but this year, the company is using a different contractor, Dawson Geophysical Company, for the testing process.
“But also the equipment we’re using is different in that the vibrating trucks last year weighed between 60,000 to 63,000 pounds and they were probably larger than a garbage truck,” project manager Greg Camera said. “This year, they’re going to be about 70 percent smaller, roughly weighing about 18,000 pounds.”
He said the trucks would carry hospital-grade mufflers to dampen noise.
“Also, the whole down pressure and drive force of the vibrating is significantly reduced, thus trying to alleviate any concerns of the public,” Camera said.
The company is producing a brochure to distribute to area residents, but Councilman Steve Bruno questioned why the brochure wasn’t warning the public about the amount the ground shakes during the testing.
“So recalling from last year — and I’m kind of curious why it’s not in this year — it’s really like a dang earthquake going off,” Bruno said. “And there’s no mention of that; it’s all smoke and mirrors: vibrosis registered-trademark technology behind it. There’s really nothing in there regarding the effect the homeowners are going to feel.”
Bruno said he grew up in southern California, and he remembered earthquakes feeling very similar to the seismic testing.
“So I cannot vote to approve this without seeing some sort of different verbiage in here,” Bruno said. “Maybe I’m being unreasonable, but I feel I was misled last year.”
A 24-hour hotline for the public was established for the project, but Bruno pointed out that the phone number was missing from the brochure.
“I think you need to be more forthcoming as to what the experience is actually like,” Bruno said.
The licensing agreement discussed by council did not mention the brochure, but Camera said he would work with Bruno to create a disclaimer that could be distributed as an insert with the pamphlet.
With that assurance, Bruno moved to approve the measure.
Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.