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Weekly water roundup: Saga continues for benzene tainted spring near Debeque


Graphic: Coyote Gulch archives

Short takes from the week in Colorado water:

Ned Prather has his say

Back in June 2008 we all heard about the benzene contamination in his spring near Debeque. Since then the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission has been shepherding the investigation.

Last week Prather finally spoke out about his spring and he claims that the commission has not done enough to solve the problem. "I've always stuck up for oil and gas, but now when we need them to stand up and do what's right, they won't," Prather said, "If I was asked what has made me the maddest in all this, it's the oil and gas commission not doing what they are supposed to do," according to The Denver Post.

Of course everyone knows that Prather's spring is a goner.

Roan Plateau stormwater settlement

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment announced last week fines totaling $680,000 against three oil and gas operators for construction related stormwater violations. Runoff entered watercourses in the Parachute Creek watershed.

EPA to take another look at Atrazine

Bush era rules governing the application of the herbicide Atrazine are going to get a fresh look from the Environmental Protection Agency. From the EPA's release:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is launching this year a comprehensive new evaluation of the pesticide atrazine to determine its effects on humans. At the end of this process, the agency will decide whether to revise its current risk assessment of the pesticide and whether new restrictions are necessary to better protect public health. One of the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the U.S., atrazine can be applied before and after planting to control broadleaf and grassy weeds. EPA will evaluate the pesticide's potential cancer and non-cancer effects on humans. Included in this new evaluation will be the most recent studies on atrazine and its potential association with birth defects, low birth weight, and premature births.

330,000 tons of uranium tailings removed so far from the Colorado River near Moab

Last week the Department of Energy announced that the project to remove the uranium tailings from the proximity to the Colorado River was showing good results.

For more info: I follow Colorado water issues at Coyote Gulch.


  • Julia Govis 5 years ago

    Thank you for this great news. I am wondering what groups the EPA is planning to meet with to determine quickest ways to inform the public about atrazine water monitoring, as mentioned in a recent article. Does this include people with private wells? As a person who’s family members utilized a private well in the Midwest for more than 25 years, and wishes she had had much more information for well testing and the use of whole house carbon filters, etc., I would gladly volunteer to participate if the EPA is looking for people to do this. If you know who I should contact about this, please let me know.

    Thank you again,
    Julia Govis