Moffat County becomes cooperating agency |

Moffat County becomes cooperating agency

Patrick Kelly

At Tuesday morning's Moffat County Commissioners meeting, the commissioners signed a memo of understanding establishing the county as a cooperating agency in the development of the new environmental analysis for Colowyo coal mine.

The agreement sets forth the roles and responsibilities agreed to between the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and Moffat County, for the purpose of collaborative planning and production of an environmental assessment for Colowyo's South Taylor Pit.

Jeff Comstock, Moffat County Natural Resources Department director, presented the OSMRE document and Commissioners Chuck Grobe and Frank Moe moved to sign. Moffat County Commission Chairman John Kinkaid was absent from the meeting due to jury duty.

The memo assigns Jeff Comstock as the primary representative to ensure coordination between OSMRE during the planning process, but Commissioner Grobe will also be playing a primary role.

"They actually include both Chuck and I on every communication," Comstock said.

As a cooperating agency, Moffat County will be able to assist in identifying issues to be addressed in the planning effort, provide relevant data for the construction of the environmental assessment and suggest alternatives to be considered in the assessment.

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The county will also be responsible for adhering to establish timelines and providing OSMRE with a written consolidated comprehensive review of the environmental assessment.

Commissioner Moe thanked Comstock and Grobe for being so involved in obtaining cooperating agency status for Moffat County.

"It's just another opportunity that they were wise to suggest to get done," he said.