06/21/2011 04:16 pm ET | Updated Aug 21, 2011

Berry Petroleum, Marathon Oil Will Likely Face Fines For Garden Gulch Drilling Spill In 2008

In early 2008, two separate releases of hundreds of thousands of gallons of chemically laced hydraulic fracturing fluid and other natural gas drilling fluids spilled into Garden Gulch on the Roan Plateau north of Parachute, forming a spectacular frozen icefall of contaminated water.

Nearly three and a half years later, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) – the state regulatory agency that oversees oil and gas drilling to protect public health and the environment – has finally struck a deal with the two companies responsible for the spills and will likely levy fines at a hearing next week.