Gravel pit summit to be held Monday |

Gravel pit summit to be held Monday

Representatives from local, state and federal agencies are scheduled to meet Monday morning for an educational forum on how gravel pits should be regulated.

The Garfield County Commissioners say they believe the meeting will provide a “much-needed informative baseline to assist them in their decision-making process regarding (gravel) extraction activity and the impacts which are generated from such a use.”

Gravel pits have become a hot topic, especially in the west end of Garfield County, which has seen an increasing number of proposed pits along the Colorado River.

Both the Town of Silt and the City of Rifle have asked that a river corridor master plan be put in place before any more gravel pits are approved by the county.

“We want to talk about the overall master plan and this will be an educational forum to talk about what the responsibilities are,” said Rifle City Manager John Hier.

Topping the concerns are the impacts the pits may have on wildlife, water quality, views and the effects on tourism and economic development.

The commissioners agreed to the forum earlier this month and the agenda allows for the agencies to make presentations on what their jurisdiction is over gravel extraction, what regulations they require to mitigate impacts and the enforcement measures for those regulations.

The need for gravel pits has been fueled by increased housing construction and, with the booming oil and gas industry, the need for concrete for road material.

Special permits are needed from the county for gravel extraction.

“We hoping to educate the different parties on what the different regulatory agencies are and what their responsibilities are,” Hier said.

The meeting will run from 8 a.m. to noon on Monday, Sept. 25, in the commissioner’s meeting room at the Garfield County Administration Building, 108 8th St., in Glenwood Springs.

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