Judge orders waste facility, state to resolve their issues

Man charged in accidental fire near upscale Redlands homes

A wastewater disposal facility that has refused to make a full disclosure about a spill that occurred in 2001 has been given yet more time to get its act together.

Mesa County Chief District Judge David Bottger, during a hearing Friday, met behind closed doors with Elaine Pratt, owner of Black Mountain Disposal, her attorney and attorneys representing the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. They spoke in private for 15 minutes.

Bottger said afterward a resolution could be found through the negotiation process, and such a resolution “would be in the best interest of all parties.” The case was continued and would be reset “if necessary,” Bottger said.

Black Mountain Disposal, 15655 45.5 Road, about five miles south of De Beque, is a commercial facility that accepts drilling waste. The waste is poured into ponds, water evaporates and solids left behind are discarded. 

In 2001, one of Black Mountain’s wastewater ponds sprang a leak. Eight years later, the owners have yet to tell the state Health Department the details.

The Mesa County Commission rescinded Black Mountain’s operating permits late last year. The commission’s action effectively closed the facility until it could meet the state’s demands


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