Parachute Creek spill: Day 46

Amelia Garrison and Travis Smith talk to KKCO-11 News Reporter Christy Dimond in Parachute today

Amelia Garrison and Travis Smith talk to KKCO-11 News Reporter Christy Dimond in Parachute today

Happy Earth Day!

I spent some time in Parachute this morning talking to KKCO-11 News Reporter Christy Dimond and Parachute residents Amelia Garrison and Travis Smith. Amelia is the mother of two young girls. Bob Arrington was also interviewed for this news report.

Residents upset with handling of Parachute spill

PARACHUTE, Colo. (KKCO) — After the discovery of benzene in Parachute Creek on Thursday, some Garfield County residents are voicing their concerns about how the situation is being handled by the county and state …

In addition, Amelia Garrison said:  “You better believe I’m concerned. I live a block away from Parachute Creek. My two little girls like to play outside a lot and I wonder if it’s safe. They take a lot of baths and I worry whether it’s safe for them to bathe in the town’s water.

“It seems like most of the information is coming from Williams. But from what I’ve read, they knew about the spill a long time before the public did. It seems like they were trying to cover it up. I don’t think we can trust what they’re telling us.”

Travis Smith also added:  “I understand that the industry is good for the economy in this town. What would they do without it? But really, is it worth trashing the environment like this?

“Is the water in Parachute safe? Is it safe to bath in it or take a shower? What about the air? They say the benzene evaporates. But doesn’t that mean it’s just coming back down with all the rain and snow we’ve had?”

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Parachute signWilliams recently updated their Answers for Parachute website with a Get Answers section. There you will find the answers to many questions that were posted here at From the Styx. I do commend Williams for their website and their efforts to answer questions from the public. There is also a Contact Us page so you can send in your questions directly. However a website is only one way to keep the public informed, and it’s a method that relies on the public to come looking for answers. As you can see from Christy Dimond’s report (above) Williams has brought in a new spokesperson, Keith Isbell. We’ll see how things proceed from here.

There are many more questions, some of which Williams simply cannot answer:

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

This facility 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?

Colorado legislation has established that the cleanup and remediation of many different types of sites and facilities within the state that have been contaminated by past and/or current uses are the jurisdiction of CDPHE Hazardous Waste Division. Why isn’t the CDPHE taking over as the lead agency?

Why haven’t we heard anything from Garfield County BOCC?

Garfield County has oil & gas mitigation funds. Are they in contact with and working with local landowners along Parachute Creek to mitigate the impacts of this environmental disaster?

Who is safeguarding the interests of the public?

If 80% of the benzene evaporated into the air, wouldn’t the air monitors at the nearby gas processing plant have sounded an alarm? Are they monitoring air quality?

Have they tested for BTEX compounds? If not, why not?

What are the real benzene numbers, not those provided by the COGCC, or Williams, or the testing companies that they retained when they swooped into the valley? How about some independent testing?

When will Williams be fined? And how much?

How are they going to clean up this mess? What’s the plan?

I invite you to submit your questions in the comments section. Or send your questions to: peggyt@siltnet.net

Don’t be shy! Your local news media wants to hear from you—especially if you live in Parachute. If you would like to talk with a member of our local news media, feel free to contact me and I will put you in touch.

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New maps!

Potentiometric Surface Map 4-16-2013

Sample Locations thru 4-19-2013 with Property Boundaries

Benzene Concentrations in Groundwater & Isoconcentration Map 4-19-13

Email Correspondence Re: COGCC Approval for Response Actions

Email Correspondence Re: COGCC Approval Aquifer Testing Procedure

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