Attorney general drops claims against four companies building gas pipeline near Parachute
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PARACHUTE, Colorado ” Claims against four companies building a natural gas pipeline in the Garden Gulch area northwest of Parachute have been dropped, according to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.
Nate Strauch, a spokesman for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, said the state’s move will now allow work on the pipeline to proceed. However, the state did not drop a claim over penalties the companies will have to pay, Strauch said.
Those penalties could be about $10,000 per day, he said.
“It should be a significant fine,” said Strauch, adding he didn’t have an estimate of how much the fines would eventually total.
In May, Suthers reached an agreement with Marathon Oil Co., Berry Petroleum Co., Enterprise Products and Enterprise Transportation Co. after the companies’ construction work on a natural gas pipeline allegedly polluted Garden Gulch and Parachute Creek with sediment, according to court documents filed by the attorney general.
The companies agreed to implement “proper sedimentation control measures” by May 7, and to make one or more company representatives available for daily weekday briefings with a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) official, according to court documents. The companies also agreed to pay the costs of weekly inspections of the area to July 31, according to court documents.
The agreement between the state and the four companies led to the cancellation of a hearing in Garfield County District Court last month over Suthers’ request for an injunction that sought to prevent the four companies from continuing work on the natural gas pipeline in the Garden Gulch area northwest of Parachute.
Marathon and the Enterprise companies ” which are independent businesses working with Marathon ” are building the natural gas pipeline, while Berry Petroleum is providing an access road for heavy equipment to construct the ditch for the pipeline.
Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117
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