Parachute Creek spill: Day 32

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)

BREAKING NEWS — Area of leak contamination grows, diesel found in creek

Bob Arrington explains how a burst pressure gauge could have caused spill plume

Frack-Flavored Gas – “what happens in Garfield County stays in Garfield County”

Spill triggers new call for buffers
But as we all know it’s not just the drilling – it’s the pipelines

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HB 1278
Oil Spills Gas Releases Reporting
Will be in the Transportation & Energy committee on Wednesday, April 10 at 1:30 PM.
This bill would require reporting within 24 hours of all spills of oil and exploration and production waste involving one barrel (42 gallons) or more. Current Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rules vary, ranging from requiring reporting of general spills of five barrels or more within 10 days, to mandating immediate reporting of any spills if they affect or threaten a surface water supply.

Under this bill, notification requirements would be extended to include landowners adjacent to the spill site and the emergency response authority within the affected municipality, or the local county if in an unincorporated area. Currently, reports must be made principally to the commission, with certain other requirements, including notification of the owner of a spill site within 24 hours of reportable spills, and immediate notification of emergency contacts for surface water intake facilities for spills that harm or threaten their water. The bill would reduce the reporting threshold from 5 barrels (current) to 1 barrel. It would also require the company to notify adjacent landowners and local governments.

HB 1275
Front Range Oil & Gas Human Health Study
Will be in the Health Insurance & Environment Committee on Thursday, April 11, at 1:30 PM.
Section 1 of the bill directs the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment to issue a request for proposals to conduct a review of existing epidemiological data regarding the effects of oil and gas operations on human health in the counties of Larimer, Weld, Boulder, and Arapahoe and one or more control areas. The selected contractor must provide its analysis of the data in a report to the general assembly by March 15, 2014. The contractor must file interim reports with an oversight committee appointed by legislative leadership and the governor. The report must include the committee’s recommendation regarding whether a follow-up study to collect and analyze new epidemiological data is warranted. Section 2 authorizes the use of the mill levy on oil and gas production to pay for the review.

The final report or an interim report may include a finding regarding whether the division of administration in the department or the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission should enter a cease-and-desist order against continued oil and gas operations, emission of air pollutants, or the discharge of water pollutants from any specifically identified oil and gas facilities. Section 3 directs the division to enter a cease-and-desist order against the continued emission of air pollutants from those facilities if the report finds that it should and the division agrees that it should, section 4 requires the same for the discharge of water pollutants, and section 5 requires the same of the commission.

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To date:

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

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 has been 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.

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

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

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3 Comments on “Parachute Creek spill: Day 32”

  1. richard schwabe Says:

    How and were are they disposing of the recovered hydrocarbons?

  2. Peggy Tibbetts Says:

    At the EAB meeting Keylor said 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.

  3. Geeorge Says:

    Treat it like toxic waste. Make them dig it all out and burn the soil. Our let it go in the creek.

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