Oil, gas waste facility proposed near DeBeque

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – State officials are currently reviewing a proposal from Utah company RN Industries to construct an oil and gas waste treatment facility near DeBeque.

The facility would be located about five miles southeast of DeBeque off V Road. Once Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment officials review the proposal, they will present it to Mesa County Commissioners to decide whether to go forward with the project.

Randy Price, senior planner for Mesa County, said the facility will prevent trucks from having to drive to Utah to dispose of oil and gas waste products.

“Oil and gas is a major part of Mesa County’s economic base,” Price said. “Part of the development of oil and gas is they generate oil and gas waste and production, so there needs to be a way to dispose of that.”

Price said it’s likely the facility wouldn’t come to fruition for another several years if it gets passed. He said the location off V Road was ideal because of its distance from residences.

Mesa County Commissioners approved the facility in 2009, but under the condition of building it in phases. Now, the plans for phase one are being reviewed by CDPHE.

DeBeque resident Chloe Marx, who has lived off V Road since she was born, said her only concern is the increased traffic the facility will bring to the already busy street.

“I don’t let the grandkids ride their bikes out on the road, and I don’t walk out there just because of the traffic now,” Marx said.

The project includes plans to upgrade the dirt road to allow up to 40 trucks each day to travel on it.

Price said Mesa County will see an economic benefit from the facility since local taxes on the plant will go to the county. Though the facility will create just a few jobs for those who will be managing it, Price said the plant will support many other jobs from the engineers who build it to the trucks who will use it.

The timeline of the project is uncertain and any construction on it, if it gets approved, could still be years away.

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