De Beque Residents Oppose Waste Facility

Dozens of De Beque residents banded together Monday to speak out against a proposal for treatment facilities for energy field wastes.

The facility would be located in a rural area of De Beque and would house waste water and solid waste.

Since recently finding out about the plans, one De Beque resident has raised concerns and alerted his neighbors of the proposal, prompting Monday's town meeting.

Of the nearly 100 residents who showed up to the meeting, reaction to the project is a resounding no. Concerns over toxic chemicals, groundwater contamination and even traffic in and out of the proposed site were addressed.

According to the Dalbo spokesman in attendance, the plans for the 187–acre site exceed Colorado environmental standards and it's the intent of the company to not house toxic chemicals on the site, but did not rule out the possibility of an energy company slipping something in by accident. The site would also feature a duel lining consisting of a synthetic material and clay, which would protect groundwater, something which the agriculture community in De Beque depends on.

The existing Black Mountain disposal facility in Mesa County was also discussed and with many in attendance saying the facility is substandard, Dalbo's representative said this facility is being built to better handle waste products as a result of drilling.

The water pools would house water that the federal and state governments declare as non–toxic, they do not contain any chemicals per say, but have a high salinity factor making it unsafe for drinking.

Monday's meeting was not the last public forum on the matter, once approved by the state, the proposal will go before the Mesa County Planning Commission, then the Board of Commissioners for approval, which will require a public hearing process.