Battlement Mesa residents concerned over oil/gas leaks

By: Matt Vanderveer Email
By: Matt Vanderveer Email

BATTLEMENT MESA, Colo. (KKCO) - A sportsmen's advocacy group has come forward with an analysis on how oil and gas spills impact wildlife and tourism dollars here on the Western Slope.

Mesa, Garfield and Rio Blanco County's were all analyzed. According to the analysis, Garfield County was the biggest culprit when it came to spills and leaks.

Living near an oil rig is just part of life for Battlement Mesa residents and some say it comes with concerns.

"It would create a large fish kill, let's say, if they got into the Colorado River,” says Paul Light of “Battlement Concerned Citizens”.

Concerned residents in Battlement Mesa say oil spills and natural gas leaks happen far too often.

"Obviously there is going to be significant pipeline activity in battlement mesa,” says another member Dave Devaney.

The Bullmoose Sportsmen's Alliance analyzed a report from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and found, in a ten year time span, there were more than 5 million gallons of wastewater, oil and chemicals leaked on the western slope.

"We have to be concerned about potential contamination or spills,” says Area Wildlife Manager JT Romatzke.

The analysis also found surface water and groundwater had been tainted in at least 77 spills. Something the Division of Wildlife says can be serious.

"The majority of species that reside here in the state of Colorado live in or reside around water,” says Romatzke.

Spokesperson for Williams Oil & Gas Susan Alvillar , whose company has a natural gas rig in Parachute, says they understand the potential effects and have a plan to stop leaks.

"The first line of defense for our drinking water systems is our surface casing,” says Alvillar.

She says their in-house guidelines are even stricter than the federal laws.

"We place the surface casing to the regulated depth if not deeper,” she says.

Which she says won't allow natural gas to affect wildlife or humans.

"We really preach a lot on doing things by the book,” says Alvillar.

The Bullmoose Sportsmen Alliance says they analyzed findings of the COGCC as part of their goal to preserve wildlife for the purposes of hunting and angling.

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  • by Blue Stater Location: Grand junction on Jun 2, 2011 at 07:38 PM
    Yep, the tourists are coming her in droves just to look at the drilling rigs and the ugly pipe-lines that crisscross our once beautiful wilderness...(sarcasm) It's only about money with some people, and some people only came to western Colorado to make a pile of money then to scurry off like a thief in the night, leaving behind a devastated landscape, and ruined tourist and agriculture industries... It would be fantastic if the oil and gas industry loaded up and went back to Texas, taking their worker transplants back with them... Western Colorado got along just fine without the energy companies, and Agriculture and tourism is still the bigger money makers and employers in the region, contrary to what a few greedy folks would have us believe! If you don't like our beautiful State and tourism and outdoor sports, maybe you need to go back to Houston....
  • by Hahaha on Jun 2, 2011 at 07:11 AM
    All i am gonna say is: i love drilling and oil & gas feeds my family as well as yours!!!! Oil field rocks!
  • by Daniel k Hoover on Jun 1, 2011 at 07:30 PM
    you people need to get your storys straight.Where is your proff that the oil and gas is running out the tourism? I have lived and worked up here for the last20 years and have not seen nothing but good from the oil and gas companies.You all need to look at the dollors that we bring into all the counties and jobs.take all the rigs out of the valley stop all the drilling you think things are bad now take it all away and you will see all of you know how many people make a living from the the oil and gas companies? you need to start counting. Do you know how many dollors the oil and gas brings to the counties? you need to count. As far as the drilling hurting the wildlife not a chance there are more elk running around garfield cty then you can count so next time you go to turn up your hest think where that heat comes from
  • by Disgusted Location: Ritterville on Jun 1, 2011 at 06:53 PM
    Sportsmans advocacy group? Is that a polite way of saying a bunch of Democrat hacks?
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