Gas Drilling Spills Make for Dirty Creek

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DENVER (AP) _ State regulators are investigating four large releases from oil and gas waste pits near Rifle.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission says some of the drilling mud that spilled is inside a frozen waterfall that will flow into West Parachute Creek when the ice melts.

The Commission says the spills were from pits operated by two different companies and occurred from November through February and drained into a gulch west of the Roan Plateau. Officials say a release of about 30,000 barrels of mud left over from drilling was
immediately reported.

Commission Interim Director, Dave Neslin, says a second release by the second operator was reported immediately, but the company failed to report two other releases.

Neslin said the companies' names won't be released until the investigation is completed.

The reserve pits hold the water, mud, and additives used in drilling.

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