Grand Junction Ballot Proposal Protects Watershed from Drilling Impacts
Three years ago when gas-drilling activities were minimal, the Grand Junction City Council rejected a municipal ordinance that would have beefed up the protection and control of its watershed areas on Grand Mesa. Unforeseen by city officials was the prospect that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would sell thousands of acres of gas drilling leases where Grand Junction draws its water supplies.
But, that’s exactly what happened earlier this year. Despite protests from the Cities of Grand Junction and Palisade and Congressman John Salazar, the BLM leased 13,000 acres for gas drilling on Grand Mesa. Not believing BLM promises that water protection measures would be in place when drilling proceeds, a group of alarmed citizens are promoting a new Grand Junction watershed protection ordinance for voter approval this November.
The Concerned Citizens Alliance, a chapter of the Western Colorado Congress, needs 1,500 signatures to get their petition on the ballot. Ironically, some Alliance members had recently moved to Grand Junction to escape drilling impacts in Garfield County.
Western Garfield County has experienced drilling accidents where several private water wells, irrigation ditches and mountain streams have been contaminated by toxic drilling by-products or chemical truck spills.
Should the measure pass, it will increase Grand Junction’s ability to regulate industrial activities such as major soil excavation and the transportation and use of large quantities of hazardous materials. The ordinance would also make gas drillers post a 100% bond to cover potential clean-up costs and require energy companies to add more pollution prevention measures to their drilling activities.
Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.
SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
The Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (CCDB) and the Community College of Denver (CCD) Paralegal Program are holding a public debate for the candidates seeking the position […]Read More
Republicans running for Colorado governor would— and wouldn’t— ban bump stocks, and one of them gets out front on gun violence
Amid a gun policy debate gripping the nation in the wake of multiple mass shootings, one illuminating aspect can be found in the Republican primary […]Read More