Parachute Creek spill: Day 38

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)

Town’s fears go beyond tainted water from leak

PARACHUTE — Besides being concerned about possible tainted irrigation water, some Parachute residents are worried about the town’s tainted reputation in light of a natural gas liquids leak near Parachute Creek.

Town Council member and former Mayor Roy McClung said the message needs to get out that “Parachute is not a toxic waste dump” as a result of a leak that is drawing national attention …

I wasn’t aware that Williams VP & General Manager Dave Keylor was going to make a presentation at the Parachute Town Council meeting on Thursday, April 11. And the meeting agenda didn’t come out until April 11. By making a presentation at the Town Council meeting as opposed to a public meeting, advance public notice is not required. The Williams presentation could have been put on the agenda at the last minute, thereby avoiding a large public gathering. And wouldn’t you know it, Parachute doesn’t videotape their meetings. Interesting.

… Keylor and town officials said one challenge is inaccurate information reported in the media …

I have to take issue with Keylor’s statement. I think the media has been more than fair and accurate. Perhaps he should talk directly to one of our local reporters and elaborate on what he feels has been inaccurate – as opposed to using spokespersons.

… Keylor said it’s also going to take “a lot of transparency and a lot of honesty” by Williams in terms of being upfront about the mess he said the company has made and what it is doing to determine the extent of the contamination and clean it up ….

… He said lab tests show that hydrocarbons in the immediate vicinity of the valve site are the same as what flows through the natural gas liquids line. But officials are awaiting test results to determine whether the more distant hydrocarbons also match the pipeline’s contents …

Transparency and honesty, eh? Well, they could start by disclosing the contents of the “hydrocarbons” – besides benzene. Because we know it’s not just benzene.

I have a couple more questions:

At the April 4 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. Where are they taking the contaminated groundwater that isn’t being stored on site?

Also at the same meeting, in answer to a question about the depth of the underground plume of contaminated water and hydrocarbon liquids below the surface of the ground along Parachute Creek, Keylor said that they do not know if the groundwater is contaminated below a depth of 18 feet. Nor do they know if the groundwater is contaminated between the depth of 14 feet and the surface of the ground. So have they figured that out yet?

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Bob Arrington has several questions:

1. Are the DROs a result of the stormwater violations on Bargath?

2. How far upstream do they go, if they are still going in the stream?

[Remember back on April 4-5, the story came out that in November 2012, Bargath was fined $275,000 for stormwater violations along a different stretch of Parachute Creek than the spill site. Click here for story.]

3. Where is the CDPHE?

4. Where is the EPA?

5. Why are these other agencies not investigating the extent of industrial involvement on this creek?

6. This is a gas processing and intra-state pipeline plant. It is more like a refinery and not a drilling operation. Why is the COGCC the lead agency?

7. Why hasn’t the stream been tested to confluence with the Colorado?

8. Since many things have been put forth from diesel on boots to pine needles, then why don’t we hear from an independent expert the concentration effects from such sources?

9. In the chain of evidence of released test reports, who (person) collected the samples?

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Peggy says:   Back to transparency and honesty and Williams being upfront about the mess they made. Here’s the deal. This is Day 38 and Keylor has attended a total of two controlled public meetings – EAB and Parachute Town Council. He has not spoken directly with the media. A lot of questions remain unanswered. We’re still waiting on that transparency and honesty.

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3 Comments on “Parachute Creek spill: Day 38”

  1. Anita Sherman (@MomMakingChange) Says:

    At the very least this is an ethics violation. Kirby is paid with public funds and should put public health and safety first.

  2. Carl Mc Williams Says:

    Carl Mc Williams sent Peggy the link to this POST INDEPENDENT Letter to the Editor:

    http://glenwoodspringspostindependent.co.newsmemory.com/loadPage.php?token=1sDK0eXQ5c3Rr7XV29DJ09fUwsnI3NWlm5FxdZGllJ6dyZ%252BFlpDV0d%252BWkXN0mqSSlqGWoIWSmqKOqpqTbXaVo5GV

    Perhaps the Parachute Mayor and Trustees should request, (by formal resolution), an independent investigation by the Attorney General of Colorado, into possible ethic violations at Garfield County.

  3. Anita Sherman (@MomMakingChange) Says:

    Carl, Indeed they should, but will they? Our municipality leaders from Parachute to New Castle can’t wring their hands, and roll up their sleeves at the same time. Maybe, with a little pressure from a waking populous, and a few specific CORA requests seeking how public funds are being used to protect industry lobbying groups – like AGNC, Club 20, and local chambers with public funds – might get our perplexed politicos to stop the hand wringing, and start representing the public. Accountability for funds appropriated to public governments agencies – specifically AGNC – and various industry supportive 501c3, 501c4s, and 501c6 are a little vague to say the least. When you add the county chipping in, well friends we have some “double dipping” happening – municipalities and the county – paying to belong to groups that protect industries, instead of the public’s interests. Absolute power – right or left – corrupts, absolutely!

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