Gas company asks to build pipeline across landfill | PostIndependent.com
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Gas company asks to build pipeline across landfill

A request by Williams Production RMT to run a natural gas pipeline across the Garfield County landfill prompted the county commissioners to consider rezoning the land.Although there are already gas wells and pipelines in place on the former Bureau of Land Management property, current zoning does not allow a pipeline.The commissioners considered the problem Monday in the context of Williams’ request for a right-of-way permit to cross the landfill, north of Interstate 70 and east of Rulison, with an 10-inch underground natural gas gathering pipeline.County planner Fred Jarman said the property is zoned as open space, which precludes a pipeline. Jarman recommended the property be rezoned as resource lands, which does allow a pipeline as a special use.Garfield County leased the land from BLM beginning in 1982, and acquired it in the mid-1990s, Jarman said. As part of the transfer, BLM retained the mineral rights to the land. “There are already a lot of pipelines in the (landfill) area,” said County Commissioner John Martin. “Rezoning is a must.”County attorney Don DeFord recommended the commissioners consider the life of the proposed pipeline in addressing the special-use permit. County Commissioner Larry McCown pointed out that the county cannot grant a permanent easement across the landfill.DeFord also said that as part of the BLM’s transfer of the land, it conducted an environmental assessment that found areas that could contain significant fossils. In its Roan Plateau resource management plan and environmental impact statement, the BLM said vertebrate, plant and insect fossils have been found at the base of the Roan Plateau, including a hippo-like mammal, flamingo-type birds, horned crocodiles and turtles dating from the Eocene period between 43 and 52 million years ago.DeFord will determine if BLM attached any stipulations about development in its transfer of the land through a patent to the county.Once the landfill is rezoned, the county commissioners will consider granting Williams a special use permit for the pipeline. Williams has said it would like to begin construction in June.In other business Monday, the county commissioners agreed to contribute $3,000 to the Glenwood Springs High School mock trial team. The team won the state championship this year, for the fourth year in a row, and will compete at nationals in Charlotte, N.C., in May.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510dgray@postindependent.com


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