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More Colorado Oil Spills Found: Over 40,000 Gallons Have Spilled After Devastating Flooding

10/01/2013 03:09 pm ET | Updated Oct 08, 2013

Two more flood-related oil spills classified as "notable" by the agency tracking all the releases in flood-ravaged Colorado were announced on Monday, bringing the total notable releases up to 14.

UPDATE: COGCC announced Tuesday that the agency is now tracking 15 "notable" releases. This brings the cumulative total of notable oil releases to 1,027 barrels -- or 43,134 gallons. Produced water releases found are up to 13 with a total of 430 barrels or 18,060 gallons.

The two additional oil spills at locations operated by Petroleum Development Corporation (PDC) were both found east of Greeley -- one, a 120 barrel release (or 5,040 gallons) on the east side of the South Platte River and the other, a 32 barrel release (or 1,344 gallons) north of Highway 34.

According to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the agency monitoring all the spills, this brings the cumulative total of notable releases to 1,042 barrels of oil -- or 43,764 gallons -- in Colorado following devastating flooding that resulted in the deaths of at least eight, and over $2 billion in property damage.

COGCC also announced that it is tracking 12 releases of "produced water," the waste water collected at the surface of an oil and gas drilling well, which has resulted in 413 barrels -- or 17,350 gallons -- spilled.

A total of 16 other locations with spills classified as "minor" by COGCC are also being tracked, two more since last week.

The volume of oil released due to flooding, although growing, remains small by oil and gas industry standards.

"In the context of this historic event, these spills are not an unexpected part of many other sources of contamination associated with the flood," the COGCC wrote in a statement. "Those include very large volumes (millions of gallons) of raw, municipal sewage and other hazards associated with households, agriculture, business and industry."

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis announced last week that he is calling on the House Resources Committee for a hearing on the spills caused by the floodwaters.

“Not only have my constituents been dealing with damage to their homes, schools and roads, they are increasingly concerned about the toxic spills that have occurred from the flooding of nearly 1,900 fracking wells in Colorado,” Polis wrote in a letter to Resource Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, KDVR reported. “Congress must deal with this issue to ensure that natural disasters do not also become public health disasters.”

Approximately 1,300 wells remain shut down -- down from 1,900 at the peak -- out of more than 51,000 operating in Colorado.

Earlier on HuffPost:

Colorado's Historic Flooding
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