Garfield County—At long last, the money that has been owed to Garfield, Rio Blanco, Mesa and Moffat Counties for the Anvil Points Naval Oil Shale clean up has been released by the federal government. The broken promises to return about 18 million dollars goes back decades but for unexplained reasons, the U.S. Interior Department has refused to disburse the funds…until now. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that the money will be released to the four western Colorado counties. Now comes the tricky part; funneling the money from the state to it’s rightful recipients. Currently there’s a piece of legislation working it’s way through the state capitol that would distribute the funds through a federal mineral lease district (FMLD) such as the one that has worked well for Garfield County. House Bill 1249, sponsored by District 57 State Representative Bob Rankin would ensure the money is doled out in a timely and equitable manner. The Joint Budget Committee recently passed the measure with a 13-0 vote. Ultimately, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties would receive 40% of the payback or just over seven million dollars, while Mesa and Moffat counties would get a check for a little under two million dollars.