Garfield County Commissioners to hold public hearing on 1041 mining standards

The Garfield County Commissioners will hold a public hearing starting at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, May 4, to consider new mining standards for the county.

This is the key meeting when the commissioners are expected to take action on use of Colorado’s 1041 review process to set new standards for mining operations.

Glenwood Springs Citizens’ Alliance strongly supports these new mining standards, and applauds Garfield County leaders for initiating the process to enact these standards.

The 1041 mining standards would be used to evaluate Rocky Mountain Industrials’ limestone mine expansion proposal as well as other proposed mining operations elsewhere in the county.

The standards will give Garfield County government clear authority to protect the environment and our public health, safety and welfare from negative impacts of mining. They also set clear expectations for mining companies to meet in order to earn permit approvals and run mining operations over time.

A strong public presence at the webinar will show the commissioners that there is broad public support for their initiative and for enacting the standards.

Please register in advance for the webinar here.

You will receive a confirmation email with a unique link to the webinar.

The webinar will include a public hearing, and you’ll be able to “raise your hand” and get a chance to speak from your own computer or type in a comment. See the article below for webinar tips.

The standards won’t apply to gravel quarries or to gas wells.

Mining standards went through extensive review

The proposed 1041 mining standards were developed by Garfield County planning staff and a consultant, Boulder attorney Barbara Green. She is a leading expert in use of Colorado’s 1041 law.

In joint meetings held March 26 and April 1, the County Commissioners and the County Planning & Zoning Commission made an extensive review of the proposed standards.

On April 22, P&Z members voted 7-0 to recommend approval. Authority to enact the mining standards rests with the County Commissioners.

Using 1041 powers gives the county government additional tools to deal with more intense and complex mining proposals, said Sheryl Bower, Community Development Director for Garfield County, in her presentation at the public hearing.

The 1041 standards also give the county flexibility to match its review process to the varying levels of impact presented by different types of mining projects, she said.

“The proposed standards spell out what’s expected related to a wide variety of impacts that can result from mining, whether it’s noise, dust, truck traffic, streamflows, wildlife, natural habitat, weeds or wildfire,” said Jeff Peterson, Executive Director of the Glenwood Springs Citizens’ Alliance.

Garfield County already uses the 1041 review process to regulate airports, heliports, water projects, landfills, water and wastewater treatment plants, highways and transit stations.

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