Watershed Drilling Plan Underway

A community development plan is in motion concerning energy production on the Grand Mesa and the first of many meetings on them matter was held Tuesday in Palisade.

In February, Genesis Gas and Oil purchased more than 27,000 acres of federal gas leases on the Grand Mesa.

Because some of the leases fall within Grand Junction and Palisade's watershed, the purchase was protested, which is why a community development plan is now in the works.

Tuesday was just the beginning of a dialog between the residents and officials of the cities and towns involved and Genesis Oil and Gas, but with the words watershed and drilling coming together, concerns are plentiful.

About 100 people filled Palisade's Community Center Tuesday and on the minds of many are the potential damages of any frac operations in drilling, reclamation of the land and whether the Kansas City-based company will use updated techniques.

When the Bureau of Land Management issued the leases in August, there were several environmental stipulations, including no–surface occupancy on nearly 1,000 acres within Palisade's watershed and a one year suspension on the leases while the community development plan is hatched.

With Tuesday's meeting, Genesis representatives said they look forward to an on–going dialog, adding that it will be beneficial in the long run that one company not several was given the leases.