Parachute Creek spill: Day 34 (Updated 7:07pm 4/10)

Crews work at the site of a natural gas seep four miles north of Parachute, Colo., at the Parachute Creek Gas Plant on Monday, Mar. 18, 2013. (The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel | Dean Humphrey)

Crews at the site of spill four miles north of Parachute, Colo., at the Parachute Creek Gas Plant on Monday, Mar. 18, 2013.  (The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel | Dean Humphrey)

BREAKING NEWS!: Source of Parachute oil spill identified, state investigating impact

Dear OSHA investigators — does it look like the workers in this photo are wearing respirators or other hazmat gear?

Feds probe response to leak

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating whether its regulations are being followed regarding protection of workers who have responded to a liquid hydrocarbons spill near Parachute.

The federal agency is trying to determine if any employees involved with the response and cleanup have been exposed to any hazardous materials, said Herb Gibson, director of OSHA’s Denver area office …

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In a statement released today, GVCA Chair Leslie Robinson said:

“Grand Valley Citizens Alliance members are appalled that possibly dozens of oil-and-gas workers on the Parachute Plume site have not only been exposed to high levels of benzene and other dangerous chemicals, but allegedly many workers continue to dig, vacuum, drill and truck this hydrocarbon waste-water and contaminated soil without respirators and protective gear. The carcinogenic danger in benzene on the long-term health of those exposed is well known.

“Concerned that the health of local oil-and-gas workers and their families have possibly been compromised, GVCA members are asking the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the EPA, and OSHA to take a more active role in protecting, testing, and conducting medical follow-ups on workers cleaning up the Parachute Plume and other spill sites.”

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Parachute creek contamination spreads, spurs calls for more regulations, fines

PARACHUTE, Colo. — One month after workers first observed a hydrocarbon leak in groundwater beneath a gas treatment facility here, concerned residents and state investigators are still perplexed about how the leak began and when.

And the toxic chemicals, including benzene, a known carcinogen, which had been detected on the north side of Parachute Creek has now spread to the south shore, the state confirmed just Monday …

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COGCC Update — April 9, 2013

New sampling results from two monitoring wells adjacent to the south side of Parachute Creek continue to show impacts to groundwater. Two of those monitoring wells showed benzene levels of 3,300 and 2,600 parts per billion. Another monitoring well, this one about 200 east of the creek, also showed benzene, at 1,200 ppb.

Three other monitoring wells about 50 feet away from the south side of the creek came back with sampling results showing no detection of benzene.

Sampling results also showed the presence at Diesel Range Organics (DRO) in surface water. This is the first time water samples have shown DRO since March 9. The first detection was at a location 800 feet upstream of the activity area, on the other side of a road bridge. That location showed DRO at 3.3 parts per million. Two other locations near the activity area showed DRO at 3.1 ppm and 1.4 ppm. Three other surface water sampling points downstream did not detect DRO.

The COGCC continues to discuss details of the site with the leadership of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The EPA participates in daily update conference calls with COGCC and the operators.

The town of Parachute and Williams have agreed on a process for Williams to begin water sampling at the point downstream where the town diverts water to an irrigation reservoir.

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One Comment on “Parachute Creek spill: Day 34 (Updated 7:07pm 4/10)”

  1. Leslie Robinson Says:

    If some workers were unaware of the benzene danger until they read about it in the newspaper, one could guess that the clothes worn at the Parachute Plume were washed at home or at a commercial laundromat. How about workers’ personal trucks?

    Just to be safe, since extreme benzene levels have been found in the soil at the Parachute Plume, I hope health officials will test homes and vehicles for possible contamination.

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