News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

EL JEBEL – Midvalley residents and other folks interested in trails in the Basalt and El Jebel area are being urged to attend a meeting Wednesday and help set trail development priorities.

The Mid Valley Trails Committee will unveil its trails plan and seek comments at the meeting at 6 p.m. in the Eagle County Community Building in El Jebel. Refreshments will be provided.

The current plan was established in 2006. The trails committee is updating the plan with the goal of determining what to work on next.

BATTLEMENT MESA, Colo. – County and public health officials on Monday agreed to provide an extra month for comments on a recently released health impact assessment of the Battlement Mesa community.

But not all observers concur that the extra time should be granted, and representatives of two area organizations questioned the reasons for the extensions requested by oil and gas industry representatives.

The health impact assessment, conducted by Garfield County and the Colorado School of Public Health, was released to the public on Oct. 4 and initially was to be available for public comment until Oct. 20.

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But following requests from the Williams Production gas drilling company and the Western Slope office of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, an industry organization, the board of county commissioners agreed on Monday to extend that comment period until Nov. 15.

The extension will not only give the industry’s experts more time to analyze the document, but it will provide ample time for a “peer review” by other interested parties, including the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

“I think it’s good to take as much time as we need” gathering input from various sources, said Commissioner John Martin.

Officials generally agreed that the extension of the comment period would not pose problems for the study, and might enhance its credibility.

But some at the meeting warned that the study, while intended to narrowly focus on issues related to the Battlement Mesa situation, might end up being used for broader purposes.

“For us, the scope is narrow, but the political implications … extend beyond the stated purpose,” said David Ludlam, director of the Western Slope office of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. (From the Post Independent)

ASPEN – A memorial service for Karen Chamberlain will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17, at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. All friends and admirers of Karen are encouraged to attend and to participate.

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