Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Race to stop South Platte River contamination North of Denver

Three 2,500 gallon vacuum trucks are sucking up water and oily muck from Sand Creek north of downtown Denver, trying to keep more of the pollution from reaching the South Platte River.
"The biggest thing right now is to stop the flow of the material into the South Platte," said Curtis Kimbel, an Environmental Protection Agency emergency response manager overseeing the work.
Crews contracted by Suncor Energy, which has a refinery about a mile east of the confluence of Sand Creek and the South Platte, worked through the night setting up booms to pool the oily material before it reaches the river.
Water samples were taken today, and will be taken again tomorrow, to try to identify what the material is and where it's coming from Kimbel said.
Red crime-scene tape has been draped around a suspected source area, about a quarter mile up Sand Creek from where it spills into the South Platte directly across from the Denver Metro Wastewater Treatment plant.
Contractors also are dumping a white absorbent material they call "diapers" into the creek to soak up the oily gunk.
Kimbel said the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been notified. State officials would be responsible for ordering the closure of any municipal or agricultural intake pipes downstream on the South Platte.
It is unclear how long the material has been leaking into the South Platte.
Link to full article from Denver Post below:


Cofisher said...

Unsound monitoring seems to be at least a small part responsible for this. I can't wait to see where the leak is coming from.

Bill Trussell said...

It always comes back to them verses us.

Coloradocasters said...

@Cofisher: This isn’t the first incident with these guys and the story is playing itself out still. The only silver lining for me is that water supplies downstream from this mess are for drinking and irrigation rather than the better fishing habitat upstream.

@Bill Trussell: Oil and Colorado go way back. There are a lot of wells and holding tanks that cause no problems. When oil exploration goes wrong someone needs to be held accountable for the damage. If these folks get a free pass it will be a shame.