<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - environment]]> http://gazette.com/rss/environment Sat, 10 Oct 2015 05:07:33 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[EPA: Sediment accidentally released in western Colorado creek]]> http://gazette.com/epa-sediment-accidentally-released-in-western-colorado-creek/article/1560897?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/epa-sediment-accidentally-released-in-western-colorado-creek/article/1560897?custom_click=rss DENVER — An Environmental Protection Agency contractor inadvertently released about 2,000 gallons of sediment-bearing water into a creek from a holding pond at a western Colorado Superfund site, officials said Thursday.

EPA spokeswoman Laura Jenkins said the water in the pond had been treated and had a neutral pH, meaning it was neither acidic nor alkaline, but she didn't immediately know whether it contained any remaining contaminants.

An EPA statement said there was no visible plume of pollution in the creek and no sign of "significant impacts."

The pond contains water flowing from the inactive Standard Mine above Crested Butte, a resort town about 125 miles southwest of Denver. The former silver mine is now

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Thu, 08 Oct 2015 18:55:26 -0600
<![CDATA[Proposals for local input on oil, gas locations under fire]]> http://gazette.com/proposals-for-local-input-on-oil-gas-locations-under-fire/article/1560838?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/proposals-for-local-input-on-oil-gas-locations-under-fire/article/1560838?custom_click=rss

DENVER — State regulators have released proposed rules to give local governments more of a say in the location of new oil and gas wells, and they quickly came under fire Wednesday from the energy industry and environmental groups.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is drawing up the rules to implement the recommendations of a task force convened by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The governor asked the group to address tensions over hydraulic fracturing and conflicts that arise when cities and oilfields expand into each other.

The task force recommended, among other things, that local governments be given a consulting role when energy companies are deciding where to locate large oil and gas facilities if

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Wed, 07 Oct 2015 19:43:23 -0600
<![CDATA[On Colorado mine cleanup, Superfund idea divides residents]]> http://gazette.com/on-colorado-mine-cleanup-superfund-idea-divides-residents/article/1560437?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/on-colorado-mine-cleanup-superfund-idea-divides-residents/article/1560437?custom_click=rss

DENVER (AP) — Southwestern Colorado residents told Congress on Thursday that the Gold King Mine blowout and other mines spilling acid waste into waterways could cause serious long-term damage to their tourism economy, but they disagreed on whether a federal Superfund designation would help or hurt.

A rafting company owner, a county commissioner and a chamber of commerce official told the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee that they don't yet know the full economic impact of the spill, but it has been devastating so far, scaring away visitors and triggering layoffs at travel-related businesses.

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Thu, 01 Oct 2015 21:28:14 -0600
<![CDATA[Huge crane used at Colorado Springs power plant begins service]]> http://gazette.com/huge-crane-used-at-colorado-springs-power-plant-begins-service/article/1560300?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/huge-crane-used-at-colorado-springs-power-plant-begins-service/article/1560300?custom_click=rss

Unit 6 is in a tight spot. That's why a mammoth crane is hovering beside it at the Martin Drake Power Plant, lifting and lowering tons of equipment piece by piece into a little scrap of land at the edge of downtown Colorado Springs.

Drake's Unit 7 had easy access to install apparatus for NeuStream scrubbers, which are expected to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide gas. Tests on that system start in a few weeks.

But Unit 6 is boxed in between Units 7 and 5, the plant operations building for Colorado Springs Utilities and small mountains of coal.

"The Unit 6 scrubbers are being installed in what's essentially a courtyard," said Dan Higgins, scrubber project director with Colorado Springs Utilities.

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Wed, 30 Sep 2015 18:14:51 -0600
<![CDATA[Downtown stakeholders unhappy with expected power plan recommendation for Colorado Springs Utilities]]> http://gazette.com/downtown-stakeholders-unhappy-with-expected-power-plan-recommendation-for-colorado-springs-utilities/article/1560090?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/downtown-stakeholders-unhappy-with-expected-power-plan-recommendation-for-colorado-springs-utilities/article/1560090?custom_click=rss

The Colorado Springs Utilities staff and customer advisory group have chosen a new energy plan, Portfolio D, that won't close any coal-burning unit at the Martin Drake Power Plant until 2023.

They'll inform the public during a hearing Tuesday night. But some downtown business owners already are dismayed by that choice.

The Downtown Partnership has decided that Portfolio H - not D - is the best choice, said President and CEO Susan Edmondson.

Portfolio H would decommission Drake Units 5, 6 and 7 in 2018, 2023 and 2029, respectively.

"However, we also feel a more aggressive approach toward decommissioning Drake should be considered," Edmondson said. "The intangible costs to having this aging eyesore at the gateway to

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Mon, 28 Sep 2015 14:43:41 -0600
<![CDATA[Killing No. 317: The story of a Boulder bear out of strikes]]> http://gazette.com/killing-no.-317-the-story-of-a-boulder-bear-out-of-strikes/article/1560076?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/killing-no.-317-the-story-of-a-boulder-bear-out-of-strikes/article/1560076?custom_click=rss

As soon as wildlife officers get the chance, they will kill her.

It could happen today, or tomorrow, or next week — that depends mostly on when she's exposed enough for a clear shot in daylight.

They might use a gun, or maybe tranquilize and then lethally inject her, but this much is all but certain: Unless she skips town and stays out for good, her days are numbered.

If and when she is dead, the officer will be crushed. No one with Colorado Parks and Wildlife likes to kill, but sometimes they're ordered to.

"It's devastating," says Larry Rogstad, a 34-year CPW veteran. "It's a sentient creature, a magnificent animal. It's an animal we spend our entire life admiring and trying to do good things for.

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Sat, 26 Sep 2015 14:57:31 -0600
<![CDATA[EPA hears widely different views on methane emission threat]]> http://gazette.com/epa-hears-widely-different-views-on-methane-emission-threat/article/1559890?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/epa-hears-widely-different-views-on-methane-emission-threat/article/1559890?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Over-regulating methane emissions could discourage the use of environment-friendly natural gas, an energy industry representative told the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday.

However, a former Colorado air quality official countered that such controls would be a cost-effective way to fight climate change.

The EPA heard radically different views as it opened public hearings in Denver on its proposal to slash allowable methane emissions from oil and gas production. Sessions were also scheduled in Dallas on Wednesday and in Pittsburgh on Sept. 29.

The proposed rules are aimed at cutting the emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2025 compared with 2012 levels.

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Wed, 23 Sep 2015 17:04:29 -0600
<![CDATA[EPA says it will build temporary treatment plant for mine]]> http://gazette.com/epa-says-it-will-build-temporary-treatment-plant-for-mine/article/1559885?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/epa-says-it-will-build-temporary-treatment-plant-for-mine/article/1559885?custom_click=rss

SILVERTON — The Environmental Protection Agency says it will set up a temporary treatment plant for wastewater flowing from the Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado after 3 million gallons surged out of the mine in August, tainting rivers in three states.

The EPA said Wednesday it needs the plant because it will be unsafe to operate the settling ponds now in use when winter temperatures dip below zero.

The EPA released documents last week saying it was considering the plant.

The $1.8 million plant is expected to start operating by Oct. 14 and run for 42 weeks. The EPA says it will cost $20,000 a week to operate.

An EPA-led crew triggered the August blowout. Rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah

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Wed, 23 Sep 2015 16:58:43 -0600
<![CDATA[Sage grouse plan aims for balance between industry, wildlife]]> http://gazette.com/sage-grouse-plan-aims-for-balance-between-industry-wildlife/article/1559847?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/sage-grouse-plan-aims-for-balance-between-industry-wildlife/article/1559847?custom_click=rss

BILLINGS, Mont. — A cooperative effort to save a ground-dwelling bird has diverted it from possible extinction, federal officials declared Tuesday, as they sought to safeguard the habitat of a declining species while maintaining key pieces of the American West's economy — oil and gas drilling and ranching.

The Obama administration said the greater sage grouse does not require Endangered Species Act protections, walking a fine line with its assertion that economic development and preservation can coexist across the bird's 11-state range.

But critics from each side of the political spectrum quickly denounced the move, concentrating on new plans signed in conjunction with the decision that will guide the use of 67

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Tue, 22 Sep 2015 19:00:16 -0600
<![CDATA[Sen. Udall of New Mexico announces legislation in wake of Colorado mine spill]]> http://gazette.com/sen.-udall-of-new-mexico-announces-legislation-in-wake-of-colorado-mine-spill/article/1559811?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/sen.-udall-of-new-mexico-announces-legislation-in-wake-of-colorado-mine-spill/article/1559811?custom_click=rss

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The federal government would be required to identify the most dangerous abandoned mines in the West and make plans to clean them up under legislation introduced Tuesday in response to the spill of millions of gallons of toxic wastewater from a Colorado mine.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, outlined the proposal during a conference call with reporters. He said the main focus would be compensating communities affected by the spill, but another goal is to prevent future environmental disasters.

"There are tens of thousands of abandoned mines around the West. They are a ticking time bomb, slowly leaking hazardous waste into our streams and rivers," Udall said, indicating more legislation aimed at

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Tue, 22 Sep 2015 16:14:53 -0600
<![CDATA[Old mine blamed for turning Colorado county creek orange]]> http://gazette.com/old-mine-blamed-for-turning-colorado-county-creek-orange/article/1559805?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/old-mine-blamed-for-turning-colorado-county-creek-orange/article/1559805?custom_click=rss ELDORA — Authorities in Boulder County say seepage from an old mine caused a creek to turn orange but say the minerals and metals were not toxic.

An investigation started Monday afternoon after a resident reported that a small creek that runs through Eldora had changed color.

The Boulder County Sheriff's Office says the source of the seepage was the Swathmore Mine, where a plug had come loose.

Water intake systems for the city of Boulder and the town of Nederland were shut down while local authorities and the Environmental Protection Agency investigated what was in the water.

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Tue, 22 Sep 2015 09:53:55 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado's high court to decide if cities can ban fracking]]> http://gazette.com/colorados-high-court-to-decide-if-cities-can-ban-fracking/article/1559725?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorados-high-court-to-decide-if-cities-can-ban-fracking/article/1559725?custom_click=rss

DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether cities can ban hydraulic fracturing, stepping into a high-stakes battle over whether local governments can impose tougher oil and gas rules than the state.

The state's highest court agreed Monday to hear cases from Longmont and Fort Collins. Longmont voters banned hydraulic fracturing in 2012. Fort Collins voters approved a five-year moratorium in 2013.

Lower courts overturned the restrictions after the Colorado Oil and Gas Association filed a lawsuit, saying regulation is up to the state.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, injects a high-pressure mix underground to break open formations and make it easier to recover oil and gas. It's a

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Tue, 22 Sep 2015 06:22:30 -0600