Temporary injunction won against Antero | PostIndependent.com

Temporary injunction won against Antero

John ColsonPost Independent staffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Landowner Bob Regulski won a round in court this week against Antero Resources over a pipeline project that crosses his property in western Garfield County.Regulski, whose land is on the south side of the Colorado River near Silt, won a temporary injunction preventing Antero from doing any further work on a pipeline trench across his property.The trench was under construction at the end of last summer, but was halted in September by a stop-work order issued by Garfield County.Three pipelines in the trench were to carry either oil, gas or “produced water,” used in the drilling process, from eight nearby gas wells.The pipeline also crosses land owned by several other area landowners, and work is continuing on those portions of the project.The trench, as dug by Antero’s pipeline crew, was in the wrong alignment and was nearly 70 feet from an alignment agreed to by Regulski and Antero last May, according to a Dec. 7 order by Ninth Judicial District Judge Denise Lynch.Under the pipeline contract, according to court documents, Antero paid Regulski $75,000 for a 50-foot construction easement along Regulski’s property line that, once the pipeline installation was complete, would drop to a 20-foot permanent easement.The trench, according to Regulski, was to have been at the bottom of a slope bordering a county road near the confluence of Divide Creek and the Colorado River.Instead, the trench was located near the top of the slope, and the installation did not follow national engineering standards or the specifications of the manufacturer, Judge Lynch wrote in her decision.Aside from the improper location of the trench and the pipes, the judge wrote, the evidence showed that the installation work was sloppy and left potentially dangerous rocks and boulders touching the pipes, which could burst the pipes and allow the gas or toxic water to seep out into the surrounding ground.The judge also noted that Antero representatives stated in court that it would cost Antero between $300,000 and $400,000 to move the pipe to its proper alignment.In addition, according to the court order, an Antero representative stated that, if all eight wells were completed and producing but unable to send the gas through the pipeline, the net loss of revenues from the sale of gas could amount to $2.4 million.The judge concluded that the potential hazards posed by the pipeline as is, as well as the incorrect alignment, justified a temporary injunction preventing further work on the misaligned trench.Although the court order permits Antero to work on the “bargained for construction easement,” the company’s attorney said he did not know what the company’s plans are for the project.Regulski’s attorney, Robert Gavrell, of the Worrell, Durett & Jaynes lawfirm, told the Post Independent by email that Regulski is pleased by the court order, “but he remains frustrated that he had to seek judicial intervention to stop this continuing trespass and to expose Antero’s reckless construction.”Gavrell repeated Regulski’s oft-stated hope that the county will act to prevent what he termed Antero’s installation of “dangerous pipelines in the county.”The pipeline project also is the subject of two other court cases.Antero has sued to condemn the strip of land where the misaligned pipeline has been dug, and Antero’s attorney, Chris Coyle of the Balcomb and Green lawfirm told the Post Independent that the condemnation action will move ahead to trial next year.In addition, Regulski is suing Antero, accusing the company of fraud and other misdeeds in its dealings concerning the pipeline project. That suit also is set for trial next year.jcolson@postindependent.com

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