Company responsible for frozen column of storm water, dirt is under investigation |

Company responsible for frozen column of storm water, dirt is under investigation

Phillip Yates
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Pete Kolbenschlag/EcoFlightThe Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is investigating a construction company for not installing soil retention devices in the Garden Gulch area. The failure apparently caused this massive buildup of frozen storm water and dirt in Garden Gulch, northwest of Parachute.

PARACHUTE, Colorado ” The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is conducting an investigation into a construction company for a violation that apparently caused a massive column of storm water and dirt to rise up in Garden Gulch.

Deb Frazier, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, said the COGCC is investigating a construction company working on a natural gas pipeline for not installing soil retention devices, such as a silt fence, in the area. The failure reportedly caused the massive buildup in Garden Gulch, which is northwest of Parachute.

“The lack of those devices is part of the investigation,” Frazier said. “What this is, is a storm-water issue.”

The company also did not properly report the problem to the COGCC, Frazier said.

The investigation is separate from another agency inquiry into four spills that also occurred in the Garden Gulch area.

The COGCC is looking at Marathon Oil Co. for a 30,000-barrel ” or 1.2 million gallon ” release of water from a storage pit on Jan. 31. The COGCC said Marathon notified the agency of the release immediately.

The COGCC is also investigating Berry Petroleum for three releases between November to late January. The company allegedly did not report two releases of fluids from a reserve pit, according to a COGCC notice of alleged violation. The complaint also alleged that the company failed to tell the landowner of the spills. All four spills by the two companies occurred on land owned by Chevron.

Frazier said the investigation into the four spills is ongoing.

“We are monitoring that situation 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Frazier, adding the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are assisting with the inquiry.

As runoff in the area begins, the state will grab water samples to be sent to a lab for analysis, Frazier said.

“If there are problems with water quality violations, [the town of Parachute], the landowners and the ranchers will be notified,” Frazier said.

Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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