Meeting in Rifle will highlight ‘best practices’ for gas drilling | AspenTimes.com

Meeting in Rifle will highlight ‘best practices’ for gas drilling

Post Independent staff reportAspen, CO Colorado

RIFLE – The question of how natural gas exploration can be accomplished without doing harm to nearby communities or the environment will be debated at an upcoming meeting in Rifle.Representatives from oil and gas companies, environmental advocacy groups, local governments and community organizations will gather at the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle on Oct. 14, to discuss the use of “best practices” for community and environmental protection.The oil and gas best management practices (BMPs) workshop will be co-sponsored by the Natural Resources Law Center (NRLC) at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).Funding is being provided in part by the CU-Boulder Outreach Office and a grant from the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America.The all-day program will begin at 9:30 a.m., and will include presentations on how to identify and implement what are known as “best practices,” and the introduction of an intermountain BMP database and website (www.oilandgasbmps. org) by NRLC. The program will conclude with an evening session exploring ways to bring communities, local governments, environmental groups and oil and gas companies together to talk about social and environmental issues. Other topics that will be addressed during the day will include the idea of creating “Community-based partnerships,” such as a Rifle/Silt/New Castle Community Development Plan for gas drilling in residential areas.Also on the schedule is a discussion of “best practice for protecting rare plants … air, water, waste and environmental health,” and the use of comprehensive drilling plans, under the COGCC’s newly adopted regulations.An optional half-day field trip is scheduled for the afternoon of Oct. 13, for a first-hand look at BMPs on the ground.For more information or to attend the workshop visit the website at http://www.oilandgasbmps.org, or contact Kathryn Mutz by e-mail at Kathryn.mutz@colorado.edu or by calling (303) 492-1293.