Breaking news —
As of November 4, the application for the proposed Metcalf Soil Treatment Facility has been withdrawn.
The notice at the Garfield County website reads: “On November 4, 2013, Olsson Associates, on behalf of Caerus, requested that this application be withdrawn and no further review or action occur at this time by the Garfield County Community Development Department.”
A September 20 article in the PI alerted the general public to the proposed facility which would be located along the south bank of the Colorado River immediately west of Battlement Mesa village.
In a blog post that same day, I shared information obtained in a series of emails from Battlement Mesa residents and Garfield County Community Development Senior Planner Kathy Eastley. A public hearing about the application had been previously scheduled for November 13.
However, this morning Eastley wrote in an email: “Metcalf Property Management, LLC (as owner) and Caerus Piceance, LLC (as operator) has withdrawn the application, and request that no further review or action occur at this time.”
At this point no reason has been cited by Garfield County, or the applicants Metcalf Property Management and Caerus Piceance. Although it’s likely the application for this “soil treatment facility” will come up again sometime in the not-too-distant future.
Here is the text of an October 29 letter from Keith Lammey, President of the Battlement Mesa Service Association to Garfield County Community Development Director Fred Jarman:
Dear Mr. Jarman,
The BMSA, Board of Directors, would like to forward on behalf of their community members those concerns raised in relation to the Major Impact Permit application submitted on the Metcalf Soil Remediation Facility.
The Metcalf Facility is located directly adjacent to the southern boundary of the Battlement Mesa PUD and therefore may pose a potential impact to the community especially those residential housing units near the southern boundary.
Because the site is located southwest of Battlement Mesa, the predominant direction of winds in the area, community members have expressed concerns about air quality monitoring at the site.
Concerns have also been expressed about noise from the pugmill and conveyor equipment as well as the potential for odors related to the mixing and spreading of the products at the site, and dust control. The community would also like to insure that all truck traffic to the site is routed through the Una Bridge area.
Please pass these concerns to the Garfield County Planning Department.
Battlement Mesa Concerned Citizen and EAB board member, Bob Arrington had issued this warning about the proposed facility:
“While hydrocarbons can be reduced greatly by such processes, during the process itself they are being released. The residue cuttings still have heavy metals, salts, alkali, and radionuclides. Such processes need monitoring to assure they stay within release limits; and sites should not be in flood plains. The end use of ‘land farming’ the residues needs attention to how contaminants may find their way to water sources and be under control as other current landfill operations where they would be normally disposed of. Adequate protections for workers, traffic, storage of hazardous waste must always be considered and the content, even after reduction of hydrocarbon content, is still Mine Tailings!”
… The announcement on the website that the application has been withdrawn by Caerus does not mention whether a second site for cleaning up contaminated soils, this one about 8 miles east of Parachute on U.S. Highway 6, also was withdrawn from consideration.
Garfield County officials could not be reached for comment on Wednesday about the second remediation site.
[This post will be updated as more information becomes available. Your comments are welcome below or send to me for posting at: firstname.lastname@example.org]