Red Leaf Resources agrees to conduct more research on water quality issues just before scheduled hearing in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY – The only commercial oil shale project in the United States is now facing a lengthy delay after the company bowed to concerns raised by Western Resource Advocates on behalf of the conservation organization Living Rivers.
Living Rivers, Red Leaf Resources, Inc., and the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining came to an agreement on Tuesday to postpone development plans while more research is done on potential impacts to water quality. Red Leaf agreed to compile more information on potential water contamination for the Utah Division of Water Quality, something that Western Resource Advocates and Living Rivers have pushed for months.
“Everybody agrees that Red Leaf and the State of Utah were trying to do too much, too quickly, and without enough information,” said Rob Dubuc, Staff Attorney for Western Resource Advocates. “This project should not move forward until the company can prove that there are no risks of contaminating groundwater.”
Red Leaf’s EcoShale In-Capsule oil shale proposal theorizes that the company can extract kerogen from shale rock by heating it to extreme temperatures inside massive, 10-acre clay structures (136 feet tall) that would be impermeable to leaking. A mining expert for Western Resource Advocates was prepared to testify in front of the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining that Red Leaf’s proposal is not technologically feasible.
Western Resource Advocates is a regional nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to protecting the West’s land, air, and water. Offices or staff are located in Boulder (CO), Phoenix and Tucson (AZ), Pocatello (ID), Santa Fe (NM), Carson City (NV) and Salt Lake City (UT). Visit www.WesternResourceAdvocates.org.