Garfield commissioners endorse plan to drill in old nuclear test site |

Garfield commissioners endorse plan to drill in old nuclear test site

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Garfield County Commissioners have endorsed a request by an energy company to drill near the site of an underground nuclear explosion detonated in 1969.

Presco Inc. wants to drill within a half-mile buffer zone established around the Project Rulison site. Only the surface area could be disturbed inside the zone, and the well bottom would be outside the zone.

Presco has asked the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for a waiver of a rule prohibiting natural gas drilling within the buffer zone.

The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ruled in February 2004 that Presco could not drill within the zone without approval from the U.S. Department of Energy because of concerns about potential radioactive contamination.

Project Rulison was designed to free natural gas from oil shale, but it was too radioactive to be sold commercially.

On Monday, the county commissioners signed a letter to the oil and gas commission supporting Presco’s request.

County Commissioner Tresi Houpt said she opposed the plan but signed the letter because it was a majority decision of the three-member board.

County Commissioner John Martin said none of the three commissioners wants to see drilling in the buffer zone, but endorsing the plan “is one way to sit down at the table and talk to them about what would be the safeguards.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User