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State Says Fracking Operations Not Impacted by Flooding

Ken Broeffle

During a hearing on water issues Friday morning, state officials say they’ve inspected 70 percent of the oil and gas wells damaged by recent flooding.

“There will be an effective clean up of all oil and gas impacts to the environment,” said Matt Lepore, the executive director of industry regulator, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. He said the state avoided a catastrophic spill and the flood did not impact fracking operations in Northern Colorado.

“We identified two locations that were close to the affected areas. We contacted those operators and we know those operators did not proceed,” said Lepore. “We also contacted all the operators with operations in the flood zones, specifically asked them about hydraulic fracturing operations, and have been told there were no hydraulic fracturing operations going on either prior to or during the flood response.”

State figures show 37,000 gallons of oil and gas spilled into the South Platte River. Colorado Department of Natural Resources head Mike King says the flood’s impact was enormous, but narrow.

“Putting that in context of the volume, the amount of oil and gas would’ve been less than a half second worth of volume,” said King.

King says the state will finish inspecting all the impacted wells in roughly two weeks. Many in the environmental community worry there will be long term negative impacts, and say the pollution and damage is much greater than the state estimates.

Read More: Industry, Critics Gear Up For Post-Flood Fracking Fight

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