Company has permit suspended for natural gas pipeline southwest of Parachute
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Garfield County commissioners on Monday upheld a county Road and Bridge Department decision to suspend a permit that allowed Noble Energy to build a natural gas pipeline in the county. The commissioners’ decision came after Road and Bridge Department staff went out to County Road 306 last week in response to area residents’ complaints that construction on the pipeline caused significant problems to the road. County Road 306 is located about 10 miles southwest of Parachute.Marvin Stephens, head of the Road and Bridge Department, told county commissioners that the road was impassable because of pipeline construction problems. Stephens and area residents had concerns about people being hurt and stuck on it, he said. A contractor for Noble Energy began building the natural gas pipeline near the road after the energy company received permit from the county earlier this year.When Stephens and other county officials went to see the source of the complaints from area residents, he decided to suspend the company’s permit to build the pipeline.Several requirements like keeping one lane open to traffic, maintaining traffic control and using all-weather construction techniques to maintain the integrity of the road were not followed, Stephens said.”What it amounts to is that (the contractor) destroyed the surface of the road,” Commissioner John Martin said. “Now it is a quagmire.”Commissioners entered into an executive session for about 20 minutes to discuss the matter. About 20 minutes later, they returned with a unanimous decision to uphold the suspension of the company’s permit to build the pipeline, along with several other conditions.Those conditions include forcing Noble to abandon the pipeline and to restore the road to its original condition.Chad Williams, legal counsel for Noble, said the company has fired the contractor that was laying the 2,900-foot pipeline for the company.”We have terminated them,” Williams said. “We will not be using them for any future projects in Garfield County.” He declined to comment after the commissioners’ decision on Monday.Nate Dutton, an area landowner, said he didn’t hold Noble “100 percent responsible” for damage to the road. He said he had to lay “a lot of the blame” on the county.”We have seen our roads handed over to Noble, EnCana and Williams,” Dutton said.Dutton said this “mess with the county road” was because no one was monitoring the situation.Contact Phillip Yates: firstname.lastname@example.orgPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
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