West Divide Creek: Garfield County is asking the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission to step up enforcement

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From the Glenwood Springs Post Indpendent (John Colson):

In 2004, chemicals began bubbling to the surface of the creek in a display of contamination generally attributed to nearby gas drilling activities, and which ultimately led to a moratorium on gas drilling in the area. The moratorium was canceled after approximately a year, however, after industry and state officials concluded that the seep had been “mitigated” by the application of additional cement to the bore drilled for the gas well. In 2008, however, [West Divide Creek basin resident Lisa Bracken] reported that the creek had begun showing signs of contamination again, and the county hired geologist Geoffrey Thyne to investigate her claims. Thyne’s findings indicated that there are signs that the re-cementing of the well bore reduced the release of gases into the surrounding ground water. But, he wrote, “It has not fully corrected the problem, and natural gas along with other harmful constituents continue to leak into the aquifer of West Divide Creek.”

The COGCC, at a hearing in Garfield County last July, promised to have the EnCana gas company, which was drilling near the Bracken property in 2004, work with Bracken to fix the problem. Bracken said that cooperation was supposed to include “thorough water monitoring” of the area near her home and the creek. But Bracken told the commissioners on Monday that EnCana had come out to inspect the scene once and that she has had “very little correspondence” with the company since.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

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