Cleanup continues on 7,500 gal. oil spill near poudre river
June 25, 2014
Noble Energy officials spent Saturday removing oil from a tank near The Poudre River that sat next to a damaged storage tank, which had spilled roughly 7,500 gallons — or 173 barrels — of oil on Friday.
The move was a precaution, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission spokesman Todd Harmann said in an email.
Both tanks have a capacity of 300 barrels, or about 12,600 gallons.
Hartmann said some of the spilled oil has impacted some standing water and vegetation near the site, but because waters have receded, the threat of any remaining oil entering the Poudre River was considered low. And, some impacted standing waters had already been removed by Saturday afternoon.
Noble spokeswoman Paula Beasley sad in an email company officials first discovered the spill about 2 p.m. Friday.
"The two wells producing into the tank had been shut in since flooding in the area occurred May 24," she said in the email. "Due to weather and receding waters, Friday was the first day we were able to visually inspect the location."
At the scene, about 20 men wearing chemical suits were combing through the foliage near the spill area, wiping off the plants by hand. Oil trucks were passing through the area, and some trucks were being loaded with bags of oil-stained rags as the crews moved through the area. The taller grass in the area had a brownish stain on it that stretched for a few feet.
Hartman said cleanup efforts were continuing as crews from Noble, Custom Environmental, Eagle Environmental, the Environmental Protection Agency and Weld County worked to dismantle the storage tanks and prepared to remove impacted soils. COGCC officials were monitoring all cleanup activity.
Beasley said Noble has worked with the appropriate agencies since first discovering the spill.
"Protection of human health and the environment are our top priorities," she said. "We immediately notified the appropriate agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission inspected the site Friday."
The oil storage tank sits about 2 miles east of Winds,or next to a field east of Weld County Road 23, on the north side of the Poudre River. The tank sits about 200 feet from the river, up a hill. A lot of flood damage was visible in the area, with washed out and eroded river banks and debris still in the water.
— Tribune photographer Joshua Polson contributed to this report