No so fast … fine use decision delayed
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission staff members asked for more time Monday to determine how the $371,000 in fines for EnCana Oil and Gas’s drilling violations will be spent. At their Sept. 13 meeting, Garfield County Commissioners John Martin and Larry McCown voted to recommend to the COGCC that three projects be paid for by a fine imposed on EnCana for a gas seep found south of Silt.The commissioners voted to recommend a hydrological study, a health risk analysis and an energy education forum. Commissioner Trési Houpt voted against the motion because she said the process felt rushed and commissioners needed more time to make a decision.Apparently, the COGCC agreed with that assessment. At the COGCC meeting in Denver Monday, the board voted for a continuance on the decision until Oct. 18.Garfield County oil and gas auditor Doug Dennison attended the meeting in Denver with Garfield County attorney Don DeFord. Dennison said the COGCC wanted more detail on the hydrological study because it wanted to be certain the study wouldn’t duplicate information the commission requires from EnCana anyway. “They didn’t have a problem with the other two projects, but wanted to refine the scope on the hydrological study,” Dennison said. He also said since ordering a violator like EnCana to fund projects through fines is “new territory” for the COGCC, it wanted time to develop how projects would qualify in the future, and which entity would administrate the projects. Dennison said that barring a “major snag,” the county should be ready to present more detail on the hydrologic study at COGCC’s Oct. 18 meeting. Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Former Carbondale trustee Katrina Byars said she wants to bring a voice of environmental sustainability to the commission, and believes her opponent has served long enough.