Parachute Creek spill: Day 30

This aerial view was captured in a flyover provided by EcoFlight. It depicts the Parachute Creek leak site looking east shows orange fencing that indicates trenched areas associated with the ongoing investigation, as well as part of the pipeline corridor where 6,000 gallons of liquid hydrocarbons were recovered. Pipelines in the corridor cross under the creek. (Photo by Christopher Tomlinson)

This aerial view was captured in a flyover provided by EcoFlight. It depicts the Parachute Creek leak site looking east shows orange fencing that indicates trenched areas associated with the ongoing investigation, as well as part of the pipeline corridor where 6,000 gallons of liquid hydrocarbons were recovered. Pipelines in the corridor cross under the creek. (Photo by Christopher Tomlinson)

Residents make it clear that they’re worried about benzene exposure
Assurances being given by industry, regulators about remediation efforts

Williams Energy, state officials address residents

Benzene Found in Test Wells Near Parachute Creek, CO; San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer Jeff Nadrich Responds

San Diego personal injury lawyer Jeff Nadrich has represented individuals who have contracted cancer after prolonged benzene exposure, and he recently weighed in on the Parachute Creek findings. According to Nadrich, “Benzene exposure threatens lives, and if an investigation determines that the local gas plant is to blame for the elevated benzene levels, local residents may be entitled to compensation.”

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To date:

This week, sampling results from one of three new monitoring wells located 10 feet from Parachute Creek showed benzene levels of 1,900 to 4,100 ppb (parts per billion).

Last week, water tests from three monitoring wells, about 30 feet from Parachute Creek, showed benzene levels ranging from 5,800 ppb to 18,000 ppb.

Benzene is a known carcinogen. The EPA and CDPHE health standard for allowable levels of benzene in drinking water is 5 ppb.

Williams and the COGCC have NOT taken water samples at the elevation where Parachute Creek and the water table are the same, which is downstream from the Williams Gas Processing Plant. Nor are they taking water samples at the town of Parachute’s municipal water intake, which is downstream as well.

The investigation into the underground plume has not identified an active source of the leak. COGCC investigators are focused on an area around an above-ground valve set for a 4-inch-diameter natural gas liquids line from the Williams Parachute Creek Gas Processing Plant. A recovery trench was excavated last week in the target area. The highest levels of benzene were found in a monitoring well closest to the trench. Investigators are looking into the possibility there may have been “historic releases” that occurred over a period of time in the vicinity of the valve set and the recovery trench.

According to Williams, the flow of water and hydrocarbon liquids that is forming the toxic plume has slowed as of Friday, March 29.

The underground plume of hydrocarbons is reported to be 405 feet by 170 feet by 14 feet deep.

Almost 180,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater and about 6,000 gallons of hydrocarbons have been recovered. Williams is storing the contaminated soil on site in containment tanks. They are also storing some of the contaminated groundwater on site in tanks, as well as trucking some out.

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

Garfield County Commissioners have not yet commented publicly on or visited the site. Oil & Gas Liaison Kirby Wynn has visited the site.

Members of the media have not been allowed in to the site.

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