Energy policy — oil and gas: Garfield County is doing research before accepting discarded pit liners at the landfill

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From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Dennis Webb):

The county is looking at a price tag of nearly $2 million to build a landfill cell capable of accepting the liners, which can be fouled by oil and gas contaminants. New state rules generally require that the liners be removed when a pit is closed rather than being buried on site. But they currently must be shipped outside the county for disposal. County manager Ed Green said the landfill cell would cost about four times as much as a normal cell because it would need to have a liner with leak-detection equipment beneath it and at liner seams. It’s also possible the liners could be characterized as hazardous waste, which would trigger state and federal rules and add to costs. Garfield is the state’s most active county for drilling, and Green said a local disposal site can be an attractive option to help companies comply with the law.

County staff targeted $1,000 as a presumably palatable price to charge companies to accept and bundle a liner at the landfill. However, it’s been projected that the cost to the county could be $1,750 per liner, including cell construction and operation costs.

At a meeting Tuesday, county commissioners expressed discomfort with the possible expense involved. Commissioner Tresi Houpt, who also is a member of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which implemented the new pit liner rule, questioned the idea of asking taxpayers to subsidize drilling expenses.

More oil and gas coverage here.

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