Crested Butte News: Paonia group asks county for more regulations of oil and gas

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August 8, 2018

By Kristy Acuff, Crested Butte News  

“This is a regulatory black hole” 

A Paonia-based citizens group, Citizens for a Healthy Community (CHC), presented its case to the Gunnison County Commissioners at a work session July 24. They hope to find a partner to help pressure the federal government to lift an exemption in government oil and gas pipeline regulations that releases rural “gathering pipelines” from annual inspection and monitoring requirements.

Commissioners also heard from Gunnison Energy Company president Brad Robinson, who defended the current regulations.

At issue is whether sections of natural gas pipelines known as “gathering lines” should be exempt from federal regulation as they currently are in rural areas. In high-density population areas, however, gathering lines are regulated by the Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration (PHMSA), a federal agency.

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