Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Colorado Fracking Flood Images Part II - COGCC Must Inspect Subsurface Flowlines

Below are more images from Colorado's first tropical rainstorm that resulted in torrential flood waters that paved its way through the center of ~21,000 active oil and gas wells in Weld County, Colorado. The State of Colorado has only scratched the surface on the collateral damage from placing active oil and gas wellpads in a flood zone. Clearly the State and the industry were not prepared for 'worst case scenarios.'

I have surveyed the flood area several times by air and dozens of times on the ground, and found the flood waters were 5' deep or more in places extending greater than 800' beyond the 'designated' flood plain. The State of Colorado has an obligation to inform the people that they do not know the extent and volumes of petrochemicals and or liquid industrial waste waters that are leaking from flowlines and other subsurface pipes from oil and gas industrial sites. Oil and gas piping is ~ 3' below ground surface (bgs) in most areas, and vast areas of topsoil was washed away exposing large sections of piping. Large trees were found resting on sections of plastic piping which would indicate probable damage from exposure to, and contact from, heavy floating debris.

The state and the industry are reporting surface discharges but fail to mention the infrastructure below ground that has a high probability of being damaged by the flood waters and debris.  The greatest probable collateral damage from petrochemical and industrial wastes being discharged may very well lie below the ground. I implore the State of Colorado to fully inspect every inch of the hundreds of miles of flowlines below ground in the flood path to abide by its mission statement to 'prevent adverse impacts to the environment and the public.'


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