GLENWOOD SPRINGS —— Garfield County commissioners say they’re “heartened” by a recent federal court ruling that, despite being a win for environmental groups, keeps federal leases for oil and gas drilling on the Roan Plateau northwest of Rifle in place.
The June 22 ruling by U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger in Denver sets aside a U.S. Bureau of Land Management drilling plan on the Roan for further review, as requested by several environmental groups that brought suit in 2008.
The plan, approved in 2007, had called for phased drilling, including on the largely undeveloped top of the biologically rich plateau.
In her ruling, Krieger said the BLM violated procedure by failing to sufficiently address an alternative that would have left much of the surface of the plateau undisturbed.
The alternative plan, which called for directional drilling from the base of the Roan, was endorsed by several local citizen groups at the time. MORE …