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KSJD Local Newscast - April 16, 2024

Montezuma County and the Ironwood mill remain in a legal dispute over waste wood on Ironwood's property at Road T and Highway 145 near Dolores. On Tuesday, county attorney Ian MacLaren told the commissioners that he had just filed a response to a previous motion by Ironwood that asked the District Court to reconsider fines issued against it. Numerous landowners in the area have voiced concerns about the potential fire danger posed by wood chips sitting outside the mill. The county and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment filed suit against Ironwood in 2022. The court issued a stipulated injunction requiring Ironwood to remove the chips by February 2023, a date that was later extended to May of that year. When Ironwood failed to do so, the court levied fines that would accrue as long as the piles were still there. MacLaren told the commissioners that the county's arguments include the contention that the overall condition of the site has not changed significantly since the judge's last order and there is still a major fire danger. MacLaren said Ironwood has a short time to file a response and then the court will issue its decision.

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Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal, and was the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.