Talon News - Good Local News

By Pilar Owens
TALON 

ANIMAS RIVER SPILL

SPILL TAINTS ANIMAS

 

November 9, 2018

THE ANIMAS RIVER AS SEEN TUESDAY AT RIVERSIDE PARK IN AZTEC. LOOKS CLEAN ENOUGH--EXCEPT FOR SOME LEFTOVER HALLOWEEN PUMPKINS STEWING IN THE SHALLOWS.

SPILL TAINTS ANIMAS

Photo and story by Pilar Owens, TALON

According to a November 5th press release from San Juan County (SJC): Produced water, a byproduct of oil and gas production, was spilled into the Animas River over the weekend. Starting in High Flume Canyon which is west of Highway 550 and south of Durango, the spill had flowed into the Animas River by the time of the press release.

Jonathan Romero reported in a November 6th Durango Herald web article that Mike Leonard, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission spokesman, said they found no evidence of the leak flowing into the river. In contrast, Romero also cited the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment who said in their emergency notice issued Sunday morning that the leak had reached the river.

On Tuesday TALON reached by phone Mike Mestas, SJC Emergency Manager. So far, said Mestas, no one in San Juan County is affected by the spill. British Petroleum is responsible for the spill and is mitigating it. Mestas said the county has contacted the New Mexico Drinking Water Bureau and Environmental Protection Agency, who will provide oversight to the investigation of the spill.

Rest assured, when TALON reached SJC spokesman Devin Neeley by phone on Thursday, he listed several reasons why San Juan Country residents likely aren't affected by the spill: The spill was minimal, it may not have reached the river, and since it was so small, it would easily be diluted by the amount of water in the river.

 

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