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Sun May 26, 2013, 06:39 AM

Fracking accident leaks benzene into Colorado stream

http://grist.org/news/fracking-accident-frack-cident-leaks-benzene-into-colorado-stream/

?w=250&h=166
Garfield County
Officials in Parachute, Colo., stopped the flow of creek water into a reservoir following a natural-gas fluid spill.

Once again, Colorado’s fracking boom has residents wondering if there’s something in the water — carcinogenic benzene, in this case. A plant for fracked natural gas processor Williams Energy, near Parachute, Colo., spilled an estimated 241 barrels of mixed natural gas liquid into the ground, some of which eventually washed as benzene into Parachute Creek.

More than two months after the spill was discovered, neighbors of the plant are wondering why the energy company is being put in charge of the cleanup — and why the state has failed to issue any fines.

Benzene levels in Parachute Creek rose above a safe-to-drink 5 parts per billion following the spill, which was caused by a faulty pressure gauge on a four-inch pipeline.

The safety limit for benzene in Coloradoan drinking water sources is 5 parts per billion. But the state doesn’t define the creek as a source of drinking water, and the limit for such water bodies is 5,300 parts per billion. Less than two miles downstream from the Williams Energy plant, headgates that control the flow of water from Parachute Creek into an irrigation reservoir have been closed since the spill was discovered.

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Reply Fracking accident leaks benzene into Colorado stream (Original post)
xchrom May 2013 OP
Champion Jack May 2013 #1
Socialistlemur May 2013 #4
LineLineLineNew Reply +
Champion Jack May 2013 #10
marions ghost May 2013 #17
BlueToTheBone May 2013 #8
Champion Jack May 2013 #9
grilled onions May 2013 #2
BlueToTheBone May 2013 #11
sakabatou May 2013 #3
annabanana May 2013 #5
Buzz Clik May 2013 #6
Thor_MN May 2013 #7
Buzz Clik May 2013 #12
Buzz Clik May 2013 #13
Socialistlemur May 2013 #16
felix_numinous May 2013 #14
hatrack May 2013 #15

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:42 AM

1. This is happening more and more

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Response to Champion Jack (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:52 AM

4. This should happen less and less

Last edited Sun May 26, 2013, 08:45 AM - Edit history (1)

Evidently a natural gas condensate spill from a leaky pipeline is a serious problem, but this report has a few mistakes. Natural gas condensates are not benzene...they have a small benzene mole fraction. Evidently if the condensate spills into a small creek the water's benzene content will spike. Legal requirements in this case usually spell out the culprit is responsible for cleaning the mess and for remediation. The state sends inspectors who decide whether the cleanup is satisfactory. There is also an investigatin which requires time because the leaky pipeline has to be recovered and sent to a lab for analysis. This is done to understand the nature of the failure. If its caused by negligence ( for example if the pipeline was rusty) then there are serious consequences and heavy fines. I think the article shows quite a bit of ignorance and this should be remedied by training youngsters in high school to know how their stater emulations work. This allows them to put pressure intelligently on individuals and corporations damaging the environment. What's needed is an intelligent and educated citizenry with teeth prepared to serve as watchdogs and defend their environment.

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Response to Socialistlemur (Reply #4)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:03 AM

10. +

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Response to Socialistlemur (Reply #4)

Sun May 26, 2013, 08:49 PM

17. Education, yes

but citizens can't shoulder the whole burden of "defending the environment." From what I've seen nobody is protecting water supplies.

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Response to Champion Jack (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2013, 09:38 AM

8. Becasue they're doing more and more fracking.

The push to destroy our home planet is really on. Where I live, they want to cut a 150 foot path through the most rugged and beautiful mountain in our state. We survive on tourism and that will be the end of that.

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Response to BlueToTheBone (Reply #8)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:01 AM

9. Truth

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:47 AM

2. Not A Source Of Drinking Water

I'm sure there are a few critters out there that would disagree to say nothing of fish and other water life. They make it sound that if it doesn't go directly into your bathroom or kitchen taps then a little benzene is not that bid a deal.

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Response to grilled onions (Reply #2)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:15 AM

11. Your cousin, a blade of grass.

We are not separate. We are but a strand in the web of life...Seneca

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:48 AM

3. There will be more shit like this

Mark my words.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:12 AM

5. off to the greatest for more visibility. .n/t

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 08:54 AM

6. Benzene is really bad news in drinking water.

 

I doubt anyone drinks from Parachute Creek, but still...

Would anyone venture to translate this quote from the article?

A plant for fracked natural gas processor Williams Energy, near Parachute, Colo., spilled an estimated 241 barrels of mixed natural gas liquid into the ground, some of which eventually washed as benzene into Parachute Creek.


I'm unfamiliar with that phrasing and find it bizarre.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #6)

Sun May 26, 2013, 09:14 AM

7. Rough translation of the last part..

 

...a mix of toxic waste products often disposed of by using it as fracking fluid spilled. That which did not evaporate or adsorb into soil was mostly benzene, which polluted Parachute Creek.

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Response to Thor_MN (Reply #7)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:20 AM

12. Let me break it down:

 

A plant for fracked natural gas processor Williams Energy, near Parachute, Colo.
A plant? What kind of plant? This is all done on the fly in the field.

spilled an estimated 241 barrels of mixed natural gas liquid into the ground
Natural gas is a gas, not a liquid, so we're talking about the fracking fluids. But, there's the injection fluid and the produced water. Which one? (Neither requires a plant)

some of which eventually washed as benzene into Parachute Creek.
This is really poorly phrased. Analytical chemists often make reference to compositions as "as xxxx", often converting everything to a common base: "sulfate as sulfur" or "nitrogen as nitrate". That make no sense in this context, so we're left to try to guess what the writer is trying to say. All the other stuff went away? Not likely. Benzene is volatile and is more likely to evaporate than the water in which it's dissolved.

I'm going with this: A storage facility near Parachute, Colorado, owned by Williams Energy and containing various ingredients for fracking injection fluids suffered a leak of 241 barrels of prepared injection fluids. Some of the fluids containing benzene contaminated Parachute Creek.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #12)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:30 AM

13. Looking for another source on this spill, we get better information

 

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #6)

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:00 PM

16. The article is poorly written

First we need to consider that "fracked natural gas" doesn't exist. A processor handles natural gas, which can have liquids. The plant separates the liquids. They had a spill. The liquids don't "wash as benzene" the condensate liquids carry a small amount of benzene and this may enter the water. Together with the other liquids. I see a lot of ignorance displayed because the public isn't educated properly. I'm convinced this should be taught in high school as part of an environmental protection and safety course. But it's a lot easier to peddle junk and drive people around like sheep if they are uneducated.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 03:14 PM

14. We need a millions against corporate takeover

march. This corrupt system does not have a good trajectory, and we all know it.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 04:59 PM

15. Oh, it's just a little benzene . . . .

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