According to recent news reports, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has documented 42 oil and gas-related spills caused by the massive Colorado flooding in September--and has not yet been able to inspect every site in the flooded area.
The spills reported include:
- 14 "notable" releases of oil totalling 42,764 gallons
- 16 "minor" releases
- 12 releases of "produced water" totalling 17,350 gallons -- produced water, an oil and gas wastewater, can be toxic.
The Denver Business Journal reports that state inspectors have inspected more than 70 percent of oil and gas sites in the flood zone, but haven't gotten to all of them yet, so these numbers may increase.
There are solutions that should be required to reduce the risk of spills of toxic materials into the environment, including buffer zones around streams, reservoirs and other waterways, and safer waste management and containment systems.