Glenwood, Four Mile could see drilling traffic |

Glenwood, Four Mile could see drilling traffic

John Colson
Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The concern that residents of Glenwood Springs and the Four Mile area aren’t aware of the possible impacts from gas drilling proposed in Thompson Divide has prompted an advocacy group to host a public meeting Wednesday.

Representatives of the Thompson Divide Coalition (TDC) will give a presentation on what the group believes would be the likely impacts of energy development on Four Mile and Glenwood Springs.

“As a board, we feel that Glenwood doesn’t understand the threat of gas drilling up Four Mile,” said Ian Carney, who serves on the TDC board of directors.

Houston-based SG Interests is seeking to join together, or “unitize” 18 gas leases spread across 32,000 acres in the remote, undeveloped Lake Ridge section of the Thompson Divide area. It’s an early step in what may be a process to open the Thompson Divide area to modern gas drilling.

The Thompson Divide area is west of Carbondale, and is accessible by three roads: Thompson Creek Road, the Spring Gulch-Marion Road into Jerome Park, and Four Mile Road.

According to Robbie Guinn, a vice president for SG Interests, the firm has not made any detailed plans for drilling gas wells in the area, or projections about the possible traffic impacts and other issues arising from drilling activities.

“We haven’t made any definitive plans as far as access goes,” he said. The company is waiting for a decision from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management about its unitization request.

But, he added, any of the roads in the area, and possibly others coming from west, are potential access routes into the leases.

“I think that would certainly be preferable to building a new road,” he said. “We should be able to use whatever roads are available.”

If drilling does commence, Guinn said local roads will be subjected to “a lot of heavy equipment, including a drilling rig and various drilling services vehicles.”

Guinn said it is unlikely the company would access the Thompson area from the Divide Creek drainage south of New Castle and Silt, already the scene of extensive gas development.

He said that the company expects to encounter concerns about traffic, air quality, water quality and other issues if it moves forward with plans for drilling.

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