The Rio Grande Roundtable ponies up $99,564 for a hydrgeologic study in the San Luis Valley near oil and gas exploration sites

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From the Valley Courier (Ruth Heide):

After an alternative proposal by roundtable member Charlie Spielman was defeated with only two votes supporting it, the roundtable voted to fund the study for $99,564 out of its basin account, with Spielman casting the only dissenting vote.

Rio Grande Roundtable Chairman Mike Gibson said the basin account had $263,000 in it as of April 12 and would probably be receiving more money when the state begins its new fiscal year this summer.

Rio Grande County Commissioner and roundtable member Karla Shriver, who represented the applicants on Tuesday, abstained from voting. She told the basin-wide water group the county wants to rely on scientific data to make informed decisions. While welcoming economic development, the commissioners want to ensure water quality, public safety and the agricultural economy that is the foundation of Rio Grande County, she explained. “We need economic development, but we need to do it in a prudent manner. That’s why we need information.”

She said the county is working closely with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC.) For example, the county leaders contacted the COGCC with concerns about leakage at the old Jynnifer well up Old Woman’s Creek. The site has been abandoned since 1987 but still has the well head and storage tanks there, where a leak has developed.

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.

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