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As the Rifle roll-over spill of thousands of gallons of natural gas condensate continues, I wonder if folks potentially exposed to this stuff know how dangerous it really is. My guess is no, since the event has been significantly minimized and oversight remains unclear.

Condensate spills are relatively common in Western Garfield County, and despite officials’ best assurances, it’s a very hazardous brew typically containing cancer-causing benzene as well as ethylbenzene, xylene, toluene, naphthalene, arsenic, alkanes, i-pentane, n-pentane, cyclopentane, n-hexane, ethane, i-propane, n-propane, and other harmful compounds like radon ” a radioactive substance. The full suite of compounds remains unknown.

Condensate is a commercial product used in the manufacture of jet fuel, and is responsible for a significant volume of VOC emissions around well pads where it is stored in massive above-ground containers and allowed to off-gas into the atmosphere.



Condensate spills could be avoided by simply installing secondary collection lines at the time natural gas pipelines are installed to transport produced gas. Most companies refuse to consider this practice.

Compounding the danger these trucks create on narrow, winding, sometimes icy highways, is the explosive danger they pose during fire season, when lightening makes their presence near homes an extraordinary threat to families, first responders and forests.



It’s a shame area oil and gas companies have chosen to risk citizens’ health over the responsible alternative. I know of several people who were in proximity to this event, and suffered headaches and other symptoms. Here are a couple of links that provide a disturbing read of toxic risk: Natural Gas Condensate – Sweet MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) http://www.hess.com/ehs/msds/Nat_Gas_Cond_Sweet_15017_clr.pdf; http://www.kne.com/public_awareness/common_files/MaterialSafetyDataSheets/NaturalGas_Condensate.pdf

Learn more about toxic effects here: State of New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services http://web.doh.state.nj.us/rtkhsfs/indexfs.aspx.

Condensate liquid, vapor gas, and fugitive dust from cleanup activities compound health and environmental risks while expanding the potential for particle distribution throughout the community on winds and via vehicular and foot traffic.

Lisa Bracken

Silt

The media and other supporters of Barack Obama may forgive and forget his insensitive reference to Special Olympics; but those of us with personal involvement might be reluctant.

Probably every family with a Down Syndrome child has experienced some form of ridicule, mockery or taunting. In most instances, we’ll forgive and forget, usually by simply considering the source.

However, when the source is the President of the United States, it’s a different matter. How can a brilliant man, never lost for words, have such a big problem with his choice of words? This is not just another of his frequent foot-in-mouth comments, it’s beyond excusable ” it truly fits the description “beyond the pale!”

Regardless of apologies or excuses, here’s a prime example of how Obama’s mind works. This guy has underlying resentment, which keeps surfacing when he gets off-script or off-teleprompter.

Is there no end to tolerance for the intolerable?

God Bless America!

Richard Doran

Parachute

I am writing in support of the passage of HB1292, which contains the current revised gas and oil rules after careful and extensive work by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and numerous stakeholder groups.

I support the passage of the gas and oil rules as they stand, and thank all of the people from many walks of life who have worked so long and hard to get the rules to where they are today. Politicians, experts, scientists, doctors, outdoorsmen, sports groups, environmentalist, and impacted landowners whose lives have been turned upside down by this industry all have joined together to make Colorado remain the beautiful place that most of it still is today.

For some, the sacrifice has been large, and for many, to large to bear. Many people whose homes became surrounded by gas wells, (and the subsequent fumes and health problems which can accompany the wells and open pits) have left and gone elsewhere.

Gas drilling will increase again when the price of gasoline rises, the economy picks up, and when there is again storage capacity for the product.

These rules offer much needed and sensible protections for the future, for everyone who lives here and breathes the air and drinks the water. Everyone should care about that, for themselves and their families.

Tara Meixsell

New Castle

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent continues to write articles favorable to Jose Mendoza Turbin. The articles are seemingly trying to raise support and awareness to the plight of this young man and those like him. Even Terrance Carroll is supporting him, yet he never even met him according to the story on March 20.

Jose sure sounds like an awesome, ambitious kid. However, before I can throw my support behind him, please answer a few questions which never seem to be addressed in the articles pertaining to him.

1) How did Jose enter the U.S.? Was it through the normal legal channels?

2) Was Jose in the U.S. legally while he was attending school here?

3) What are Jose’s intentions upon completion of nursing school?

I can certainly understand Jose’s desire to live a better life, and as all his supporters suggest, we are all born of immigrants with the same dream. My grandparents began their journey disembarking a ship at Ellis Island.

Mike Neighbor

Silt

There seems to be people coming by our homes wanting to sell us security systems, magazines, insurance, etc. We all need to be cautious they are not casing our homes; like how many doors we have, how many dogs, where do we work, etc.

One thing we have decided to start doing is to ask them to wait a minute until we get our camera. And then take a picture of them and also ask for credentials on their company.

It’s unfortunate our small communities are no longer safe. Please everyone, look out for your neighbor. Report any suspicious activity. Unfortunately, now we have to lock our doors.

Janna Sorensen

New Castle

I hope I can provide a little background for John Stroud’s March 19 story on the death of Pam “Granny” McPherson crossing Highway 82 near Carbondale.

Granny was returning from a St. Paddy’s day party at the home of her best friend Barbara, who lives directly across Highway 82 from Granny. At 10 p.m., while crossing the road on her way home, she was struck by two cars and killed instantly.

Understand that Granny and Barbara were friends for 40 years. They lived 50 yards apart, and they visited every day. Barbara always drove across Highway 82 to Granny’s, and when Granny visited Barbara, she always walked. That’s the way they did it for a quarter-century.

Reporter Stroud wrote, “Alcohol is believed to be a factor on the part of (Granny) McPherson … “

That’s a pretty harsh assessment to get chiseled on anyone’s tombstone. The fact is Granny had a sherry about four hours earlier. Anyone who knew her knows she never abused alcohol.

As for what actually happened, we’ll never know, will we? She may have had difficulty judging the distance of oncoming cars. She had some recent history of losing her balance. She might have fallen. Remember, she was 85 years old.

But drunk? Never. Not in a million years.

Ed Colby

New Castle


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