Mesa County OKs natural gas facility

Despite objections from neighbors, Mesa County commissioners unanimously approved a conditional-use permit Tuesday for the construction and operation of a natural-gas-treatment facility in extreme northeastern Mesa County.

The permit allows Houston-based SG Interests Ltd. to build the facility on a 40-acre parcel at 2322 Divide Creek Road, which is near the Garfield County line and just outside the western edge of the White River National Forest.

The facility will treat gas that runs through the 25.5-mile Bull Mountain pipeline, which stretches from Gunnison County to Garfield County and connects with larger interstate pipeline systems.

Residents who own parcels surrounding the project site said they’re concerned about effects from noise and traffic and asked commissioners to delay a decision to allow them to try to work out a land swap with SG to move the facility farther away from their homes.

“No one has mentioned one time protecting the investment of the surrounding neighbors,” said Dow Rippy, who owns 1,600 acres north of SG’s site.

“You feel like you’re just getting this pushed down your throat. There’s no communication with the community.”

But officials with SG Interests said relocating the facility at this juncture would be extremely costly.

They said they briefly considered the idea of a land trade, but in order for that to happen, SG would have had to cross Rippy’s property to gain access to its own, something that SG Vice President Robbie Guinn wasn’t guaranteed.

“It wasn’t feasible to get everyone in agreement because everyone wanted a little something different,” Guinn said.

Commissioner Craig Meis said he would have liked to see SG and neighboring landowners work more closely together to come up with an option that satisfied everyone.

But he and other commissioners agreed SG will implement enough measures to mitigate potential impacts.


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