Parachute Creek spill: Day 15

CD0319SPILLParachute leak slows; residents still concerned

The video story does a really good job of revealing the concerns of local residents. But the reporter says the spill site is 60,000 feet from Parachute Creek. That would mean the spill site is almost 12 miles from the creek. The spill site is approximately 60 feet from Parachute Creek. Yes it is that close, which is why no one believes government and industry officials when they say that Parachute Creek has not been impacted by the spill. I notified the news director about the error.

“No Measurable Amount” of Hydrocarbons Found in Williams Leak

On March 21, the EPA issued an administrative order requiring specific actions by Williams to protect Parachute Creek, a tributary of the Colorado River. Any violation of the order could incur a fine of up to $37,500 per day. I asked The Daily Sentinel to make this story available online to non-subscribers and they did.

Williams ordered by EPA to take action in leak cleanup

The order instructs Williams to continue to pump the liquid from existing trenches and potholes, extend the trenches and excavate additional trenches as needed to reduce the threat of the liquid reaching the creek, excavate additional potholes to determine the extent of the plume, install wells to monitor the movement of the plume and routinely collect water samples and conduct daily monitoring of the deployed booms in the creek.

The EPA says Williams must submit plans addressing those required actions within seven days and also submit weekly and monthly progress reports.

Williams is already performing most, if not all of the measures required by the EPA. Company officials noted in a news release that crews are collecting samples of creek water on a daily basis and visually inspecting the creek every 30 minutes.

I am working on obtaining a copy of the EPA administrative order and will post it here when I do.

The source of the spill remains unknown.

The content of the “hydrocarbon liquid” has not been made public.

No one knows whether the flow of hydrocarbon liquid to the underground plume site has been stopped.

Accumulation of hydrocarbon liquid has diminished considerably. No measurable amount was removed on Thursday. According to Williams “only a sheen of hydrocarbon was recovered.” To date, about 6,000 gallons of “unknown” hydrocarbon liquid have been removed from the site by vacuum trucks.

On Thursday, an additional 128 barrels – or 5,400 gallons – of contaminated groundwater were removed. To date, about 113,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater have been removed.

Attention local readers!

I am in touch with local media outlets. They are looking for information on the ground here. Please, if you or anyone you know has news, information, photos, rumors, anything you think ought to be checked out, whatever it is, contact me:

I can assure you confidentiality. The only way we can hold government and industry officials accountable is to keep this story alive. But we need sources and information.

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6 Comments on “Parachute Creek spill: Day 15”

  1. Carl Mc Williams Says:

    Thank you Peggy for breaking this story locally. Dennis Webb and John Colson have also done excellent reporting on this Parachute Creek hydrocarbon spill, once the truth was in the DENVER POST.

    Sixty (60) feet from Parachute Creek is twenty yards. On a football field that is only two first downs. I think the media is being deceived by Williams on the possibility of seepage into Parachute Creek. I also would bet that the chemical analysis on the hydrocarbons is already back from the laboratory and Williams knows the stuff is very toxic.

    How is it that Garfield County Oil & Gas Liaison Kerby Wynn, did not inform the POST INDEPENDENT, THE GJ SENTINEL, Garfield County Energy Advisory Committee and “Community Counts” of this hydrocarbon plume? Wynn is paid somewhere in the range of $85,000/year by GARCO and it is his number one priority to keep the local citizens informed on issues such as a 60,000 gallon hydrocarbon spill 20 yards from Parachute Creek!

    I am certain that the former GARCO Oil & Gas Liaison, (Dr. Judy Jordan) would have been all over this, even though fully knowing that Samson, Martin, Jankovsky and Gorgey would have objected. Yet Dr. Jordan would have done her job and retained her honor. [Of course an honorable person is the stench of death to the likes of Martin, Samson & Jankovsky.]

    Stay tuned, this story is not over.

  2. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    No this is not over.

    The problem is that government and industry officials want it to be “over” as far as the media is concerned. We shouldn’t have to ask the media to keep reporting on the spill but we do. But people also need to open up and start talking about it.

    I don’t believe Parachute Creek has not been impacted by the spill. I don’t believe they don’t know the content of the “hydrocarbon liquid.” I don’t believe they don’t know the source. And I don’t believe the flow to the underground plume — the so-called “leak” — has been stopped.

    We’ve been lied to many times by government and industry. But nothing this catastrophic has ever occurred before so the lying, the cover up, and the secrecy are that much more ominous.

  3. Bob Arrington Says:

    If the spillage is slowing down, then they realized a pipeline was ruptured and turned it off OR a tank was leaking and emptied itseself. In either case, it should have been discovered by day 2 if they were as on top of things as they say they are. Williams kept hinting “it COULD be someone else” that had a problem. Well if someone else has pipelines or tanks there, where are they? Always looking for an out to delay the regs from issuing orders. Up there in the same area, Garco issued a permit for Encana to build evaporation ponds. We also know the record for these fume makers – ask Ned Prater.

  4. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    Thank you Bob. Your thoughts on this situation matter to us. I mean, who hasn’t said during the past week, “well I wonder what Bob Arrington thinks about all this”

  5. Leslie Robinson Says:

    Word is “leaking out” from the Parachute Plume site….the spill allegedly has occurred over a long period of time, many months if not years; so much so, the plume has saturated deep underground in a huge area, boundaries still unknown. Suspicions point to the nearby gas plant.

    As testing continues, hydrocarbon material is supposedly being found lower than 18 feet — the ground water boundary — so definitely water tables have been compromised and surely this polluted ground water has long entered Parachute Creek and hence, the Colorado River. The amount of material being taken away from the plume site is being under-reported.

    Someone familiar with the spill site called it the “BP disaster of Parachute.”

    It is time for citizens to demand answers from government officials as we will never know the truth of this disaster from the Williams PR machine. Where are the booms to catch the waste in Parachute Creek and the Colorado River? Why haven’t people living on Parachute Creek been warned? It’s time we all speak up for the truth!
    –Leslie Robinson, chair Grand Valley Citizens Alliance

  6. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    Thanks for posting Leslie. I’m sure many of us familiar with how the industry operates for lo, these many years, suspected something like this. We know it’s worse than they are telling us. But I can only speak for myself when I say I’m not surprised. The evidence points to everything your source told you. For now all we can do is put government and industry officials on notice: we are watching you and we will hold you accountable.

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