Anadarko CO Oil Spill Cleaned Up

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 09:02 AM gHale

A spill near tanks at an Anadarko Petroleum well site at the north edge of Erie, CO, over the weekend forced the excavation of soil.

The spill of a “reportable” amount of liquid — over 200 gallons — contaminated soil in a farm field near housing, a quarter of a mile from an industrial fracking operation in progress to stimulate fossil fuels production, south of Colorado 52 and west of Weld County Road 7.

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The company discovered the spill while working to plug and abandon “old equipment,” said Anadarko spokeswoman Jennifer Brice.

“We encountered historical impacts on location. We promptly reported it to the state regulatory authority and began the process of cleaning up the soil, which is now largely complete,” Brice said. “There is no ongoing release nor impacts off location.”

Residents learned of the spill from a notice on their town website. Heavy machinery positioned by a storage tank was idle Sunday afternoon, but heaps of soil around the well site suggested a crew had been working.

“Another day, another spill. This is the cost of the industry,” said Erie Protectors member Christiaan van Woudenberg at the scene, where he checked the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) website and saw evidence of 73 spills this year but no report of this incident.

The Erie Protectors oppose fossil fuels development inside town boundaries, where companies have drilled more than 400 wells. On Saturday, a couple dozen residents gathered in the town library to share information derived from data points that COGCC regulators have made available. The residents are working with a map by van Woudenberg, a software engineer, that shows thousands of existing oil and gas wells and underground pipelines near homes.

“This well is part of Colorado’s aging oil and gas infrastructure that is at risk,” he said at the scene of the spill. “We’re trying to show the oil and gas infrastructure burden on this state.”

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