Saturday, March 19, 2016

Over 600 Spills in Colorado in 2015

DENVER—Oil and gas companies in Colorado were responsible for 615 oil and other chemical spills in 2015, according to the Colorado Toxic Release Tracker released today by the Center for Western Priorities. The new analysis, which summarizes public spills data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, finds that 90 spills—or 15 percent of all spills—resulted in water contamination.

According to publicly available data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission , there were 615 spills in 2015, meaning that nearly two spills occurred every day in the state.

“This is another stark reminder of the risks associated with oil and gas development,” said Greg Zimmerman, deputy director at the Center for Western Priorities. “Even in the face of falling oil prices and virtually no interest in new drilling, companies still managed to spill oil and other chemicals onto Colorado’s land and water nearly two times every day last year.”

The 2015 Toxic Release Tracker finds that produced water was the most common type of spill—companies reported 271 releases of produced water—followed by oil spills, which occurred at least 110 times in 2015. Of those, 51 spills released at least 5 barrels, or 210 gallons, of oil. During 2015, 61 spills occurred within the 500-foot setback of a building.


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