Routt County: Study into possible effects of coalbed methane exploration and production on groundwater and surface water underway

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From the Craig Daily Press (Collin Smith):

An ongoing study into the possible effects of coalbed methane production in the Sand Wash Basin now shows the area has deep faults potentially connecting coal seams and near-surface water reservoirs. This would mean activity in those coal seams could affect water resources used by local residents…

Officials from the Colorado Geological Survey are completing the study, which is slated to cost about $121,000. Moffat County contributed $1,500, Routt County $500 and state water groups funded the rest. Researchers said they are done mapping the methane and water resources of the basin, and next plan to build an analytical model that will help evaluate what impacts may arise in the future from coalbed methane production…

Peter Barkmann, managing hydrogeologist for the Geological Survey, said companies may have to do additional research before starting coalbed methane production in the Sand Wash Basin. “I think, if anything, the complexity of the basin tells me there’s going to have to be a pretty careful examination done before a company attempts to produce coalbed methane,” Barkmann said.

More coalbed methane coverage here and here.

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