Colorado Community Sees Third Fracking Spill Within Weeks

By @TrishaMarczakMP |
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    Video screen grab gas well just north of Windsor, Colo. where a leak of flowback water used in the fracking process spewed greenish-brown frack fluid for nearly 30 hours before being capped earlier this week. (Photo/screen grab of online shared video)

    Video screen grab of a gas well just north of Windsor, Colo. where a leak of flowback water used in the fracking process spewed greenish-brown frack fluid for nearly 30 hours before being capped earlier this week. (Photo/screen grab of online shared video)


    (MintPress) – It’s the third spill in weeks for a hydraulic fracturing site in Greeley, Colo.

    Just 1,500 feet from the nearest home, a malfunction in the fracking equipment Monday morning released oil and chemicals used in the process, contaminating more than 84,000 gallons of water. The name of the chemicals were not released.

    The spill took place over a 30-hour period, until PDC Energy was finally able to contain the incident. Its own crewmembers were tasked with monitoring the air at the site every half hour, ensuring that leaking natural gas wouldn’t lead to an explosion, according to a report in the Denver Post.

    Colorado’s Oil and Gas Commissioner told the Post Thursday it was not yet known if the contaminated water had poisoned the groundwater supply. PDC Energy’s last two leaks, occurring within weeks at the same site, were confirmed as having contaminating groundwater.

    The commissioner also said there are no penalties being handed down to PDC at that point. Its permit for drilling stands.

    The leak in Greeley, Colo. is a sign of the struggle throughout the state, as oil companies have bought up land for the fracking process, which shoots carcinogenic chemicals and water into the ground to break up and extract hidden oil.

    Since the boom began in 2008, the state has seen more than 2,070 spills — 17 percent of the time, these spills have resulted with groundwater contamination. Colorado also ranks second in the nation for the use of carcinogenic fluids in the fracking process.

    Concern has caused some Colorado communities to issue moratoriums on the practice. In November, the city of Longmont, Colo. voted to ban fracking, prompting Aurora, Louisville and Lafayette, Colo. to consider similar measures.

    In January, the state hoped to calm the nerves of those protecting their groundwater, proposing a set of monitoring rules. The standards fell short though, guaranteeing groundwater testing at only 25 percent of the state’s wells. Environmental Defense Fund Region Director Dan Grossman told the Denver Post the proposed rules were the worst in the nation.

    Despite the widespread concern, there is still a pro-fracking movement in the state emphasizing the economic benefit yet not recognizing the dire health and environmental effects. Colorado’s governor, John Hickenlooper, is a cheerleader for the industry, and has appeared in radio ads favoring the fracking movement. In one ad, he praises the industry for no “recognized cases” of groundwater contamination.

    The advertisement was sponsored by Colorado Oil and Gas Association.


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      • [email protected]

        you are full of it jim they put more chemicalsdown then fracking does you forget about lub. fr and acid you lie just to make it right have you ever been on site and if so why do they have to contain each pad i do because of so much chemicals you are stuipd you dont know and if you do know its because you want to keep your job

      • Jim

        There is a lot of misinformation here. “Fracking equipment” didn’t malfunction. Look up a picture of a frac job and then look at the photo. A workover rig was on location, and had a blowout. That has NOTHING to do with fracing. And hydraulic fracturing isn’t pumping carcinogens and water into the ground. It’s pumping water and sand with less than 1% chemicals 1-2+ miles under the ground. Not to mention the technology to make nontoxic fluids has been discovered and utilized. You are the media and you spread news to the people looking for information. When you spread lies and misinformation, you make a difference. I’d say check your facts, but this is a blatant and intentional attempt to mislead and sway readers. So yes, check your facts, but also, write unbiased news and… DON’T LIE TO YOUR READERS!