Garfield commits $1 million to study on drilling

Garfield County commissioners formally committed $1 million Monday toward what’s being called a first-of-its-kind study of air pollution near oil and gas operations.

The action came during a meeting at which commissioners also expressed concern over a proposal by SG Interests to route truck traffic through Glenwood Springs in connection with a well it proposes to drill near Sunlight Mountain Resort.

The $1.8 million, three-year study led by Colorado State University is intended to better characterize how emissions disperse near drilling, hydraulic fracturing and flowback operations in the county.

County manager Andrew Gorgey said the county is making a substantial investment in a study that could have national and “arguably international” importance.

The county will pay for its portion of costs from its oil and gas mitigation fund, which was created from proceeds from federal mineral leasing. The energy industry has committed $800,000 to the study.

Also Monday, commissioners disagreed with reported plans by SG Interests to run drilling traffic up Four-Mile Road to access a newly proposed well.


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