State to Mesa Co: Trust Us on Watershed

The Bureau of Land Management and The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission have tried to quell the fears of Palisade and Grand Junction officials with promises that drilling in city watersheds can be done safely. They point to a newer state program within the Public Health and Environment department, which will protect water resources by managing storm water runoff from drill sites and testing for toxic materials.

Seems like there is one problem about this water oversite program: they have only one water quality inspector for the whole state.  That sure didn’t help satisfy the concerns of Mesa County area city and town government leaders and residents about gas drilling in their watersheds at a special gas-driling meeting in Palisade on Tuesday.

Good news: There is funding for another inspector position, but the agency hasn’t had much luck filling the job.

Doubts are that with these assurances, Grand Junction and Palisade will drop their protests of the BLM leases in their watershed.

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Leslie Robinson

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