Parachute Creek spill: Day 19

Parachute Creek looking south from bridge in downtown Parachute. Williams has been testing the creek water 5 miles upstream at the groundwater contamination site.

Parachute Creek looking south from bridge in downtown Parachute. Williams has been testing the creek water 5 miles upstream at the groundwater contamination site.

On Monday, the GVCA and reporters were asking for more public information about the Parachute Creek spill and by day’s end news was beginning to flow once again. As we suspected, the news is disturbing.

Liquid gas products line eyed in Parachute-area leak

An investigation into a hydrocarbon leak northwest of Parachute is focusing on a valve box for a 4-inch-diameter natural gas liquids line, the director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said Monday …

This investigation corresponds with these two COGCC public documents

Valve set work plan

Approval of valve set work plan


To date approximately 140,700 gallons of contaminated water have been removed from the site.

Officials: ‘Hydrocarbon’ flow has slowed, creek clear
But state specialists have taken their own water samples

… But according to one state official, specialists with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), for the first time since the leak was reported, took their own water quality samples from the creek over the weekend.

“I’m sorry I can’t remember which day it was,” said COGCC spokesman Todd Hartman, “but it was over the weekend.”

He said the results from those samples should be available within days.The flow of unidentified hydrocarbons into trenches and pits dug by Williams workers is said to have slowed or stopped, although the flow of potentially contaminated water has not slowed …

Todd Hartman can’t remember which day he took water samples from Parachute Creek. Only one day? And he didn’t write it down on a post-it note or something? I would just like to point out that this is the kind of crap people of sick of hearing. They can’t expect us to believe this.

… Although the EPA continues to monitor the work being done by Williams, the federal agency is not conducting its own independent water analysis, according to EPA spokeswoman Lisa McClain-Vanderpool.

Similarly, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is not conducting its own water tests or monitoring the cleanup.

Instead, said CDPHE spokesman Mark Salley, the state health department is relying on monitoring done by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and Williams.

“The only time the CDPHE issues any kind of announcement is if there is a threat to public health,” said Salley. “If there is evidence that the spill impacts a waterway, that’s the point at which they would get involved.”

For now, he said, “We trust the COGCC as the lead agency of this investigation.”

This is absolutely mind-boggling. Understand this now. The EPA and the CDPHE  — two agencies charged with protecting public health — deferred to the COGCC because they “trust” them.

The question came up yesterday at the GVCA meeting. Who is testing the water in the creek? No one knew for certain but we thought probably the COGCC was testing the creek water. For the past week or so COGCC spokesman Todd Hartman has been putting out media bulletins that include the statement: “There continues to be no evidence of impact to Parachute Creek.” Therefore it was not an illogical assumption to believe the COGCC was testing the water since he is their spokesman and he was putting out the report.

Nope. I’m sorry to say we were wrong. All along, the COGCC has NOT been testing the Parachute Creek water. The COGCC deferred to Williams and let them test the creek water. And what does Williams say the tests show? No contamination of creek water. And who reported that? COGCC spokesman Todd Hartman.

The COGCC tested the creek water for the first time — over the weekend – one day.

If this wasn’t so serious I would think it’s a joke.

Dear EPA,
We don’t trust the COGCC. We don’t think you should either.


Residents criticize state’s response to Parachute leak

This is the interview I did with KKCO Channel 11 reporter Christy Dimond yesterday in Parachute. Leslie Robinson (chair GVCA) was also interviewed.

On Sunday, Leslie posted in the comments section of Day 15:

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!

Word of this “news from the site” quickly spread to the media. As a result, reporters and the GVCA spent the day Monday demanding answers from government and industry officials. As you can see from Christy’s report, Williams and Hartman did eventually return her calls after she spoke with Leslie and me on Monday morning. Christy Dimond has been following this story for Ch. 11 two weeks, and doing an excellent job. However after she started interviewing local residents about their concerns, her requests for information from Williams were ignored.  I would hope government and industry officials and spokespersons would treat Christy Dimond with the same respect they do the other reporters.

Monday’s GVCA meeting resulted in this press release today:

GVCA calls for more transparency and accountability


I have another document dump for you. My apologies, I  have not had time to look at all of these. I wanted to get the news out first.

Williams’ Approval Request for Monitoring Wells

COGCC Approval of Initial MW Locations

Proposed Well Locations 032313

Proposed Well Locations 032313_rev630pm (1)

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