John Suthers

DENVER (Legal Newsline)--Colorado Attorney General John Suthers on Tuesday filed a temporary restraining order and injunction against four oil companies for failing to control construction run-off near Parachute, Colo.

The restraining order and injunction would effectively suspend further work to an oil and gas pipeline on the scenic Roan Plateau, in Central Colorado, which is home to one of the richest natural gas reserves in the Centennial State.

Companies named in the filing are Enterprise Products Company, Enterprise Transportation Company, Berry Petroleum Company, and Marathon Oil Company.

Suthers contends that because the companies have not minimized runoff, loose soil is washing from the road and trench areas into Corral Gulch, and afterward over a cliff into Garden Gulch.

In a complaint filed Tuesday in Garfield County District Court, Suthers said the sediment-laden water is washing into Parachute Creek, a fishery which serves as a habitat for trout and other cold-water aquatic species.

"Threatened discharges of sediment pose an imminent and substantial endangerment to the beneficial uses of state waters, including habitat and aquatic life in Parachute Creek, justifying immediate relief, in the form of a temporary restraining order and a preliminary mandatory injunction," the action said.

The court order, if granted, would prevent the defendants from doing work in any area that drains to Corral Gulch and Garden Gulch. It would also require the companies to implement sediment and erosion controls.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at

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