Following is a preview of tomorrow’s headlines
EnCana Oil & Gas received approval for a special use permit from the Garfield County Commissioners for a storage pond in Parachute despite the fact that the pond was already constructed.Commissioner Trsi Houpt took EnCana Jimmy Smith of Wagon Wheel Consulting to task for bypassing county regulations. Smith was hired by EnCana to oversee the permitting process for the pond and other future developments at the former Unocal property.However, Houpt was overruled by commissioners Larry McCown and John Martin who said Smith made an honest mistake in neglecting to apply for the appropriate permits. Besides the special use permit, a grading permit is also required for the excavation of the pond.He admitted it was his fault that he didnt talk to EnCana about the grading permit, Martin said.EnCanas pond is intended to hold water produced during drilling operations on natural gas wells. The water is treated and stored in the pond for eventual reuse in drilling.
Harlan Hansen got the blessing of the Garfield County Commissioners this week for the Western Colorado Land Purchase Corp. With that, Hansen said he hopes to convince Club 20 to take it and run with it, in building a company that would purchase private land targeted for natural gas development.Hansen, the chairman of the county Energy Advisory Board, came up with the idea from conversations with land owners in the western end of the county who are worried that their land values will plummet because of gas drilling.Although people who own their mineral rights can make out handsomely from royalties from natural gas extraction, people who own only the surface are left out of the economic loop and are forced to live with sometimes unpaid or insufficient payment of damages to their land, and in some cases, a reduction in value of their property, Hansen said.Ive talked to some land owners who believe thair land values have been cut in half, he added.Hansen also got a nod from the EAB earlier this year.
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