Thursday, September 19, 2013

Confirmed 5,250 Gallon Oil Spill in South Platte River

A Greeley member of Weld Air and Water was asked by the EPA District 6 Response Team to send photos of toppled tanks along with photos of  their corresponding well placards for identification purposes. He shares,

"I've been doing my best. Today an operator from Wise Interventions Services [an oil field services provider] yelled at me to get off of private property. I told him he may own mineral rights but the surface rights are owned by the farmer across the way. After that, four guys along with him blocked the placard. I asked, "If there is nothing wrong, why can't I photograph the placard?" They all started yelling, and approaching me. I thought it was time to leave as I was alone in a farm field and didn't want to be tilled under."

This spill can pollute up to 5,250,000 gallons of water, but......

Governor Hickenlooper said late Thursday there is a lot of water to dilute pollutants, including oil, in the South Platte.

 "When you look at the amount of water flowing through that river, it will process these pollutants very, very rapidly," 

Source: Colorado Flooding Triggers Oil Spills, Shutdowns 

MILLIKEN — Industry crews have placed absorbent booms in the South Platte River south of Milliken where at least 5,250 gallons of crude oil has spilled from two tank batteries into the flood-swollen river. The spill from a damaged tank was reported to the Colorado Department of Natural Resources Wednesday afternoon by Anadarko Petroleum, as is required by state law.

Too late for floating booms; most oil went downstream!

State officials have responded to the spill site, which is south of Milliken near where the St. Vrain River flows into the South Platte. The flood that began late last week toppled dozens of oil and gas storage tanks and swamped other production facilities at sites in the flood plain. Earlier this week, oil drums, some empty, some full, could be seen floating in the river as far east as Kersey.

"This is the first specific incident where we have a clear indication of the problem," state natural resources spokesman Todd Hartman said. State authorities don't know when this spill happened, Hartman said. Weld County authorities on Saturday said at least one oil and gas industry pipeline had broken and was leaking into the South Platte. County officials did not provide a precise location for the broken pipeline. They said at least two other pipelines were compromised as they sagged in flood-saturated soils. Gary Wockner of Clean Water Action said in a statement Wednesday night that the spill "exemplifies the danger" of drilling and fracking in floodplains." ~ Denver Post: 5,250 gallons of oil spills into South Platte River

Watch a segment about the Colorado flood, and the oil spill on the Rachel Maddow show.

See photos of the spill by EcoFlight  

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