Parachute Creek spill: Day 23

Parachute Creek looking north from the bridge in downtown Parachute

Parachute Creek looking north from the bridge in downtown Parachute, 4 miles downstream from a leak of unknown origin that has contaminated groundwater with benzene. The COGCC and Williams continue to claim the creek shows no signs of contamination.

This week, water tests from three monitoring wells, about 30 feet from Parachute Creek, showed benzene levels ranging from 5,800 parts per billion to 18,000 ppb in a well closest to a trench dug to recover contaminated water and oil. The state health standard for benzene is 5 ppb.

Williams crew workers are hand drilling another set of monitoring wells approximately 10 feet from Parachute Creek to further address groundwater impacts.

Workers continue excavation under a valve box which has been a focus of the investigation into the source of the ongoing leak of hydrocarbon liquids into an underground plume near the Williams Parachute Creek Gas Processing Plant.

According to Williams, the flow of water that is forming the toxic plume has slowed as of Friday.

To date, almost 180,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater and about 6,000 gallons of hydrocarbons have been recovered.

Governor Hickenlooper has not commented publicly on or visited the site of the Parachute Creek environmental disaster.

To date, members of the media have not been allowed in to the site.

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Benzene found 30 feet from Parachute Creek

Flow of water forming Parachute plume slows
Creek still showing no signs of contamination

Valve box focus of leak investigation (source for some of the info above — subscribers only)

And where has Frackenlooper been while the Parachute Creek environmental disaster unfolds in his state? He toured Alberta’s tar sands this week and hinted at his vision for Colorado.

Gov. Hickenlooper tours, reportedly praises Canadian oil sands

According to a report by the CBC, Hickenlooper told Canandians that Colorado could learn a lot about what’s going on in Alberta to extract oil from the sands with less of an impact on the environment.

Imagine ski resorts surrounded by total wasteland. One day Colorado could be known as the “brown snow state.”

The Governor has not commented publicly on or visited the site of the Parachute Creek environmental disaster. Maybe he thinks if he ignores it long enough it’ll just go away. But like all the other messes the industry has made, this one is going to be with us for a long time. …

Gary Wockner of Clean Water Action said in a statement:

“Instead of touring one of the world’s dirtiest sources of energy in Canada, Gov. Hickenlooper needs to get back to Colorado and take care of business here and ensure the public health is protected. It’s time for the governor to stop pretending all is well with the oil and gas industry and force it to operate in a transparent and accountable way. It’s time the governor starts looking out for the well-being of the public instead of the profits of the billion-dollar oil and gas industry.”

Pete Maysmith of Conservation Colorado told FOX31 it was hard to comment on Hickenlooper’s visit and his statements because it’s unclear whether he was supporting the oil sands or the government’s efforts to clean them up.

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One Comment on “Parachute Creek spill: Day 23”

  1. Bruce McWilliams Says:

    Let’s see if John Martin will drink from the creek.

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