Colorado Gem Spared from Drilling
June 22, 2012
On June 22, U.S District Judge Marcia Krieger rule that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated federal environmental laws when it approved a plan allowing oil and natural gas development on the biologically rich Roan Plateau in western Colorado.
Over the past several years, BLM has improperly approved thousands of oil and gas wells in western Colorado without doing any analysis of the air pollution they would cause. As natural gas drilling has increased, air quality in surrounding areas has dramatically worsened. Monitoring has documented high levels of ozone pollution, and haze has increasingly limited the view from some of Colorado’s most spectacular public lands.
Violating environmental laws, the agency failed to fully consider an alternative backed by Garfield County communities and others that would have left much of the surface of the plateau undisturbed.
For now, Judge Krieger set aside the plan and ordered the agency to take another look. In the meantime, federal leases that were issued for oil and gas drilling on the soaring plateau will remain in place. This is an opportunity for Roan, one of Colorado’s gems, to get a second chance at protection.
The Sierra Club and its allies are represented in the case by Earthjustice.
Details and Documents:
Opinion and Order Vacating and Remanding Agency Determination
June 22, 2012 by US District Judge Marcia S. Krieger News Articles:
Judge sets aside BLM's Roan Planteau drilling plan
June 24, 2012 by Catherine Tsai, The Denver Post
See other "Reforming Natural Gas" cases.