Garfield County pays for health assessments for residents of Battlement Mesa |

Garfield County pays for health assessments for residents of Battlement Mesa

Garfield County put its money where its constituents’ health is this week, when it agreed to pay as much as $257,000 for a series of health assessments of those living in the Battlement Mesa area.

The Board of County Commissioners is hoping, however, that a national foundation will pick up a portion of the tab for a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) and a related Battlement Mesa Environmental Health Analysis Monitoring Study (EHAMS).

The county, to avoid a six-month delay for the processing of a grant application to the Pew Charitable Trusts, agreed to pay the entire cost of the HIA and the design cost of the EHAMS, which is estimated to come to roughly $257,000.

The Pew grant application is for $150,000.

The county hopes the HIA will be completed by August, in time to be incorporated into state reviews of an application by Antero Resources to drill up to 200 gas wells inside the boundaries of Battlement Mesa, an unincorporated community in the western portion of Garfield County. The EHAMS could take up to six years.

The idea is to establish a baseline of health data for residents of the community, and then monitor the residents for any effects from living near gas wells.

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