Colorado Court: Coal Bed Methane Producers Need Water Permits

  DENVER, Colorado, April 20, 2009 (ENS) - The Colorado Supreme Court today ruled that coal bed methane producers must adhere to the same water rules and regulations as other state water users.

 In 2005, two ranch families who own water rights in Archuleta and La Plata counties sued the State Engineer, arguing that he was acting illegally by failing to require BP America Production Company to get permits and water court approvals to pump tributary groundwater as part of the company's coal bed methane production.

"This is a victory for both ranchers and our streams," said Mely Whiting, an attorney with the conservation group Trout Unlimited, which participated in the appeal in support of the ranchers.