December 12, 2011

Another Pipeline Leak

Colorado officials fear that vast amounts of petroleum have been leaking into the South Platte River from a broken pipeline at a refinery operated by tar sands producer Suncor.

The oily black sludge that's been seeping into the Sand Creek waterway is a gasoline-like substance containing benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, the EPA confirmed.
The confirmation only deepens the worst fears of environmental advocates concerned that the contamination of Sand Creek, a tributary of the South Platte River, could put the health hundreds of thousands of metro area residents at-risk.
"When you have a spill in a small spot that's potentially drifting down into a major river, you're talking about dozens of ditches, thousands of acres of farmland and even some municipal water supply sources that could be affected," said Bart Miller, the water program director at Boulder's Western Resource Advocates.
"There are hundreds of thousands of people who rely on this as a water source."
Colorado state health officials fear that a broken underground pipe that leads to a tank at a Suncor Energy refinery caused the leak of petroleum in Commerce City.

Hazardous Waste Corrective Action Unit supervisor Walter Avramenko says they're concerned because the reported break at the refinery is about a half-mile away from where an oily substance began seeping into Sand Creek earlier this week. 

KDVR News Report

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