On March 27, a federal judge ruled that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service illegally approved two natural gas drilling plans in western Colorado. The judge faulted the agencies for failing to account for drilling’s impacts on downstream emissions, as well as on mule deer and elk.
One of these drilling projects, known as the Bull Mountain Master Development Project, calls for 146 new gas wells, four new wastewater disposal wells, and associated infrastructure in a nearly 20,000-acre area in western Colorado’s North Fork Valley. The project is in the headwaters of the North Fork of the Gunnison River, which provides drinking and irrigation water to residents and farmers supplying the Western Slope and Front Range with produce, meats, and wineries.
The North Fork Valley “is fighting tooth and nail to defend its watershed and way of life from the oil and gas industry,” said Guardians’ Jeremy Nichols. “This is another victory for our climate and another critical rebuke of the Trump Administration’s efforts to sacrifice our public lands for fracking,”
Read the press release.