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00000176-6d2a-dc2f-ad76-6d2a4ee60000The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

GarCo Commissioners will sue over Four Mile Road if necessary

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Garfield County
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Garfield County Commissioners are willing to take legal action to prevent oil and gas trucks from using a popular road near Glenwood Springs. Commissioners and other officials are reacting to news there may be drilling on the controversial Thompson Divide. At Monday’s meeting, the GarCo leaders said the County will try to convince the Forest Service to bar drilling companies from using Four Mile Road, which leads to Sunlight Mountain Resort.

If working with the Forest Service isn’t fruitful, Commissioners are willing to sue over the matter. “And it’s not just because we think it’s a bad route,” says Commissioner John Martin. “It’s just that it is not possible to hold any heavy equipment and what have you. It would deteriorate too fast. Plus it’s a well used road and very narrow.”

Four Mile Road is the main route to the drilling location announced last week. Texas company SG Interests says it’s taking preliminary steps to drill there. The lease in question is west of Carbondale, in Mesa County, and barely beyond the Pitkin County border. SG Interests has been in negotiations to swap that out and other leases as part of a larger effort to preserve the Thompson Divide. A confidential source close to the issue who doesn’t want to jeopardize negotiations said Monday the drilling company’s decision to move forward may be a tactic.

 

Commissioner Tom Jankovsky is also General Manger of Sunlight Mountain Resort, and was first to voice his concerns on Monday about oil and gas ventures using Four Mile Road. Other Commissioners were quick to say they're similarly concerned and have been for a while.