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Pipeline first, then permit

Kara WilliamsSpecial to the Post Independent

Garfield County Commissioners approved a special use permit Monday for EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) to run a pipeline from Rifle to Parachute. Given that EnCana plans to start moving gas through the already constructed pipeline on Wednesday, It was a bit of having the cart before the horse, said Jimmy Smith, project manager and chief inspector for EnCana Gathering Services.EnCana came away from a Sept. 2 public hearing before the county commissioners believing that the company did not need a special use permit to run 15 miles of 24-inch pipeline along the Interstate 70 corridor.EnCana representatives thought that while the commissioners were considering amending land-use regulations regarding pipelines, they werent requiring special use or conditional pipeline permits, according to Jeff Reale, EnCana Gathering Services field superintendent.So the company promptly began constructing the pipeline, which runs from a compressor site west of Rifle to the processing facility in Parachute.But then the county came to us and said we still needed one, said Reale.Garfield County planner Mark Bean called the situation a misunderstanding.After approving the permit at Mondays public hearing, commissioner Trsi Houpt asked in jest, What would you have done if wed said no?Contact Kara Williams: 945-8515, ext. 535kwilliams@postindependent.com


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