This year April 20 marked the 2nd anniversary of the explosion that became known as the Deep Water Horizon Event – or BP Oil Spill. The month of April also commemorates the anniversary of the discovery of the West Divide Creek Seep in 2004. Think of it as Colorado River’s Deep Water Horizon Event. The similarities are eerie. Both events began with a well explosion caused by operator error. At the Deep Water Horizon well, millions of gallons of crude oil flowed into the Gulf of Mexico for four months. The well is most likely still leaking. West Divide Creek is not an ocean environment so we’ll never know what happened underground at the time of the explosion. Above ground millions of cubic feet of natural gas exploded into the environment. Then – for eight long years – undetermined quantities of benzene, methane, propane, butane, ethane, pentane, and radioactive matter have been gradually seeping into West Divide Creek and the surrounding environment, and eventually into the Colorado River. The seep continues to this day unabated.
In January, Encana began drilling again in the hydro-geologically sensitive area that encompasses both seep areas along West Divide Creek. Lisa Bracken expects the well will be fracked sometime in early May. Lisa and I agreed that in order to understand the profound impact this will have on the environment we have to look back at the history of the West Divide Creek Seep over the past eight years.
We don’t have a crystal ball. We don’t know what will happen when this area is fracked again. Will there be an explosion? Will there be an earthquake? Will there be a new seep area? History shows us there will be definitely be an impact on the environment. No agencies will monitor it, but Lisa will. No media will cover it, but From the Styx will.
And so we bring you an environmental catastrophe in progress …