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Energy development in Western Colorado

A look at the ups and downs of our booming oil and natural gas industry here in Western Colorado.

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Are the Parachute Creek cleanup crews safe from the plume?

Are the Parachute Creek cleanup crews safe from the plume? May 16, 2013
Months after discovering a toxic pipeline leak at a natural gas plant on Parachute Creek, industry workers are continuing efforts to clear the creek water of chemicals. But as KDNK's Ed Williams reports, area scientists are raising questions about the dangers the cleanup methods pose to the health of on-site workers.

(Click on the headline for a response to this story from Williams) 
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Local groups appeal BLM decision extending life of leases in the Thompson Divide

May 7, 2013
On Monday, a group of local governments and conservation organizations filed appeals against the Bureau of Land Management's recent decision to allow oil and gas companies to hold on to expiring leases in the Thompson Divide. KDNK's Ed Williams has more.
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Stakeholders looking for consensual solution, says Senator Bennet

May 6, 2013
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet stopped in Carbondale late last week for a Thompson Divide Coalition event, to shake some hands and to have a burger. KDNK's Eric Skalac spoke to Bennet to get an update on a bill he recently introduced that would prevent future drilling in the Thompson Divide.
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Cleanup of Parachute Creek spill could take years

May 1, 2013
At a meeting with state environmental regulators Monday night in Parachute, well over 100 people gathered to hear the latest on the Parachute Creek hydrocarbon spill. The spill was first reported to regulators in early March, and at Monday's meeting officials updated the crowd on how much contamination has been found in groundwater and in the creek. They also gave their first indication of just how long it could take to finish cleaning up the spill. KDNK's Nelson Harvey reports.

(More coverage of the Parachute Creek spill is available in our news archives.)
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Parachute spill highlights pipeline regulation problems in Colorado

April 12, 2013
On this week's episode of the KDNK News Brief, KDNK's Ed Williams talks to Dennis Webb of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel about his article detailing problems with oil and gas pipeline regulation in Colorado.
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BLM temporarily suspends Thompson Divide leases pending environmental review

BLM temporarily suspends Thompson Divide leases pending environmental review April 10, 2013
The Bureau of Land Management announced Tuesday that several gas leases in the Thompson Divide will be suspended. KDNK's Eric Skalac has more.
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January leak preceded recent hydrocarbon spill near Parachute Creek

April 8, 2013
Nearly a month after a hydrocarbon plume was discovered near a gas plant owned by the company Williams Midstream about four miles north of the town of Parachute, it's source has not been identified. The plume continues leaking toxic compounds like the carcinogen benzene into groundwater near Parachute Creek.

At a public forum Thursday night Williams officials revealed that there was another leak a few months ago at the same spot thought to be the source of the current plume. That leak was apparently not reported to state officials.

KDNK's Nelson Harvey reports on that news, and the public's response.
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New environmental review on the Roan Plateau

April 3, 2013
Last month, the Bureau of Land Management announced plans for a new environmental review of natural gas exploration on public lands on the Roan Plateau, northwest of Rifle. In June, a District Court judge ruled that the agency's previous analysis did not adequately address cumulative air quality impacts, ozone impacts, and a citizen's alternative to the BLM's plan. The ruling came out of a lawsuit filed in 2008 by conservation groups represented by Earth Justice.

Michael Freeman is an attorney with Earth Justice and spoke with KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh about what to expect from this next analysis and why the Roan Plateau is worth protecting.

The entire interview with Michael Freeman and Will Roush of Carbondale's Wilderness Workshop about natural gas drilling on the Roan Plateau and an update on the Thompson Divide is available in our news archives.
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GarCo contributes funds to energy symposium in Mesa County

April 2, 2013
Garfield County commissioners voted Monday to contribute $5,000 of the county's discretionary fund to an energy symposium in Grand Junction. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh has more.
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Parachute Creek, groundwater contaminated by hydrocarbon spill (Updated 5/1)

Parachute Creek, groundwater contaminated by hydrocarbon spill (Updated 5/1) March 27, 2013
Investigation continues into the source of a spill of liquid hydrocarbons near Parachute Creek, but Williams officials now believe the source to be a failed pressure guage on a pipeline owned by Williams Partners. 

Several monitoring wells around the creek have shown benzene levels greatly exceeding the EPA standards for drinking water. 

KDNK News has provided ongoing coverage of the spill, which you can listen to in our news archives.