Parachute Creek spill: Day 14

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Williams natural gas processing plant north of Parachute

COGCC issues citations in Parachute leak case

Little change in Parachute Creek hydrocarbon spill
More than 6,000 gallons of liquids vacuumed up, creek still in the clear

UPDATES AS OF MARCH 19-20

More than 102,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater have been removed.

So far 143 barrels of hydrocarbons (more than 6,000 gallons) have been vacuumed out of the soil. That represents an increase of four barrels from Tuesday to Wednesday. “The amounts recovered have fallen off sharply in the last few days, suggesting the flow from the unidentified source may be diminishing.”

Or, maybe it’s a slow seep or leak, which is perhaps why it accumulated in an underground pool instead of gushing into Parachute Creek. And why it had gone unnoticed before March 8. When you consider the amount of contaminated groundwater, it points to widespread saturation and the possibility this plume may have been growing for quite some time.

The source remains unknown.

Whether diminished or not, the unidentified hydrocarbon liquid is still flowing.

On March 20, the COGCC staff issued Notices of Alleged Violation against Williams Midstream and WPX Energy.

In a March 11 phone conversation Williams Environmental Specialist Annette Garrigues told COGCC Environmental Supervisor (western CO) Alex Fischer about the “soil contamination” discovered on March 8. She also said, “WPX just recently (date unknown) put in a new produced water line.”

According to The Daily Sentinel article:

WPX spokeswoman Susan Alvillar said her company has inspected several of its nearby well pads several times, and also examined tanks and done sampling of condensate and produced water. Those samples are now being analyzed, she said.

The company has found no problems involving the infrastructure or wells themselves, she said. And the substance that has been leaking doesn’t bear any resemblance to produced water, she said.

Current focus seems to be on testing the pipelines since the leak plume is located in a pipeline right-of-way.

Here are links to the emails, reports, and information that the COGCC has released to the public. These are the “emails” referred to in both articles above.

Email Correspondence RE: Form 19

Email Correspondence RE: Sundry and Updated Form 19

Email Correspondence Re: Cease and Desist Order

Fischer to Garrigues: 3-11-13 phone conversation
Note: The spill was phoned in on Friday, March 8 by Annette Garrigues (Williams) but COGCC’s Alex Fischer did not return her call until Monday, March 11.

Fischer email 3-11-13 (1)

Fischer email 3-11-13 (2)

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