Garfield County Energy Advisory Board meeting focuses on Piceance Basin water quality |

Garfield County Energy Advisory Board meeting focuses on Piceance Basin water quality

RIFLE — The Garfield County Energy Advisory Board (EAB) meets on Thursday night, starting at 5:30 p.m., in the Rifle Branch Library building, 207 East Ave. Regional water quality will be the main topic of discussion.

A presentation by two U.S. Geological Survey officials will highlight two recently published assessments of the water quality in the Piceance Basin.

The basin, which covers parts of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, has long been the focus of oil and gas exploration activities, from the oil shale boom of the 1970s and 1980s to the current round of drilling for oil and natural gas.

The EAB, created in 2004 by the Garfield County commissioners, is made up of citizens, governmental representatives and officials from the energy industry.

It was intended to provide a forum “for the oil and gas industry, the public, impacted landowners and local government to prevent or minimize conflict associated with oil and gas development,” according to the EAB’s mission statement.

One of the presentations by USGS personnel Pete McMahon and Jude Thomas will touch on an overview of groundwater quality in the Piceance Basin, from 1946 to 2009.

The other will provide similar information gathered between the dates of 1959-2009, in the Piceance study area, Western Colorado,” according to the EAB’s agenda.

The meetings begin with a catered dinner for the board members and members of the public, at 5:30 p.m., followed by the meeting at 6 p.m.

According to the agenda, the meeting is to end at 7:35 p.m. or so.

The public is invited to attend and participate.

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