GVCA calls for more transparency and accountability

Leslie Robinson (chair, GVCA) talks with KKCO-Ch 11 reporter Christy Dimond at the bridge over Parachute Creek in Parachute, Monday morning.

Leslie Robinson (chair, GVCA) talks with KKCO-Ch 11 reporter Christy Dimond at the bridge over Parachute Creek in Parachute, Monday morning.

Citizen group asking for more transparency and government accountability at Parachute Plume site

The Grand Valley Citizens Alliance members are calling on government officials, specifically from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the federal Environment Protection Agency, to provide more information to the public about details concerning the Parachute Plume.

“Our members believe we cannot rely solely on the Williams’ public relations department to inform the public about the full extent of this plume,” said GVCA chair, Leslie Robinson. “Not when our sources say how serious the situation could be, including the pollution and saturation of hydrocarbon-type materials in the water table that feeds into Parachute Creek, which empties into the Colorado River,” she said.

Robinson said she heard the plume may have been in existence for a long time and the area compromised is allegedly much larger than what Williams has alluded to.

“We need more facts from the government inspectors,” Robinson stressed. “In our opinion, silence and the lack of tests from state and federal regulators has fueled fears that the full extent of the environmental damage is being ‘swept under the carpet’ from the public.”

GVCA members are also very concerned that there was no public announcement of the seep until the Denver Post ran an article eight days after the discovery of the plume. “There should be better lines of communication between the COGCC, Garfield County, and the public,” Robinson insisted. “If it weren’t for media investigations and citizen tips, locals would still be in the dark about the Parachute Plume.”

Other concerns about the Parachute Plume:

  • Public has right to a list of chemicals found in the soil and water table
  • Analysis of the water testing should be made available to the public
  • There should be independent testing of soil and water
  • There should be a daily public report from government officials overseeing the Parachute Plume investigation

GVCA members strongly support the senate and house bills going before the legislature dealing with oil and gas development, including HB 1267, which increases penalties for violations by oil and gas operators, and SB 202, calling for more inspections of oil and gas facilities.

“The Parachute Plume is a good example why there also needs to be an increase of setbacks from drilling operations and water sources and residential buildings, another bill we hope to see introduced,” Robinson said. “It’s hard to believe the hydrocarbons, saturated in the water table in the Parachute Plume, haven’t reached water sources just 50 feet away.”

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Grand Valley Citizens Alliance is a non-profit, member driven organization that works to protect the quality of life in the midst of energy development in Western Garfield County, Colorado.

Western Colorado Congress is an alliance for community action empowering people to protect and enhance their quality of life in western Colorado

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One Comment on “GVCA calls for more transparency and accountability”

  1. Sonja linman Says:

    This situation is a tragic example of the concerns we spoke about throughout 2012.
    Our communities deserve:
    Representation of citizens
    Information for all
    Management of resources
    Environmental Vision

    These ramifications are irreversible.
    I am deeply disappointed. Please listen to the October BOCC approval of the CR 215 building development approval with “conditions.”
    Thank you GVCA for maintaining a presence .

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