Rockies Today, Sept. 20

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Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Colorado now tracking nearly a dozen oil spills in flooded areas
Two of the 10 oil and gas spills being monitored in flood-damaged areas are large ones, while the remaining eight are classified as minor by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Denver Post; Sept. 20

Montana DNRC hears from both sides on proposed water well regulation
The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is proposing a change to water well rules to require developers of subdivisions to prove their new wells won't affect existing water rights, a move conservation groups and ranchers said is needed, but drillers and contractors said the regulation is unnecessary.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 20

Montana landowners' lawsuit alleges petroleum pollution near Cut Bank
Forty-six landowners in Montana filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month alleging that petroleum pollution from an area near Cut Bank known as Tank Hill is migrating onto their property.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 20

U.S. House to vote today on Healthy Forests bill
U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador's Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act, which would turn over 2.5 million acres of federal forest lands in Idaho to state management, and the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, which would mandate the U.S. Forest Service to increase timber harvest on its 193 million acres of forest lands and give 25 percent of the revenue from timber sales to the counties in which the trees are cut, are among the package of bills to be voted on in the U.S. House today.
Idaho Statesman; Sept. 20

Alberta breaks ground on first new refinery in Canada in decades
The $5.7-billion diesel refinery under construction in Alberta is the first to be built in North America for decades, and the province and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. have an agreement under which both will have a stake in the project, provide oilsands crude for refining there, and will share in the profits.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Sept. 20

Developer wants to build solar farm on SITLA lands in Utah
Provo-based Energy Capital Group has already secured a lease on 1,754 acres of land managed by Utah's School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration in Millard County, with plans to build a $600-million, 300-megawatt solar farm on the parcel that could provide electricity for 80,000 homes.
Salt Lake Tribune; Sept. 20

Utah congressman tells Interior Dept. to 'butt out' of freeway debate
Angered by the U.S. Department of Interior's opposition to the Utah Department of Transportation's preferred route of the West Davis Corridor freeway because it would irreparably harm Great Salt Lake wetlands used by migratory birds, U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop fired off an angry letter to Secretary Sally Jewell demanding she come to Utah to explain to homeowners who could be displaced by an alternate route why their homes are less important than the wetlands.
Salt Lake Tribune; Sept. 20

Mountain West News is a project of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West at The University of Montana. It provides a daily snapshot of news and opinion in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, giving the changing mountain West a tool to understand itself and a platform for the exchange of ideas.

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