Heidi McIntosh, managing attorney of the Rocky Mountain Office of Earthjustice issued the following statement today:
“Our thoughts are with those whose lives and communities have been disrupted by this tragedy, especially those who lost family members, friends, and their homes. The scope of the disaster is difficult to comprehend and will undoubtedly only be fully apparent with the passage of time. We applaud the efforts of first responders and those who are even now working to get Colorado and Coloradans back on their feet.
“We are also concerned that pollutants have leaked from oil and gas facilities inundated and damaged by the floods. Crude oil and condensate spills have already been reported to the state with many well sites remaining inaccessible for inspection. The presence of these pollutants, and the potential for more, in the flooded areas and downstream may compound the damaged from the floods and pose a human health hazard now and into the future. We urge the Department of Natural Resources and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to act without delay to assess the extent of contamination and undertake comprehensive clean up efforts with the oil and gas industry as soon as possible.
“As we learn more about the impacts from this flood, we must carefully evaluate how to ensure that the health of our citizens and our environment is protected from fracking-related pollution and spills, especially in vulnerable places like the floodplains that were inundated by water this week.”