A total of 7,500 gallons of oil spilled into Colorado's only designated wild and scenic river, Cache La Poudre. It was reported on Friday by Noble Energy to the EPA and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Noble Energy stated they discovered the spill Friday afternoon and have spent the days following the discovery to clean up the river and save wildlife surrounding the area. No reports of drinking water being contaminated has been issued.
Cache La Poudre river is the only river in Colorado designated as naturally made and the only scenic river in the state. Through years of time and erosion the river created the scenic Poudre canyon with steep cliffs and is a favorite spot of white water rafting.
According to the website RT.com Noble Energy stated they believe the high waters of the river was the cause of the spill. The storage tank had dropped from it's foundation and broke a discharge valve causing the tank to completely drain it's contents into the river. A second storage tank has been safely drained to avoid a second spill. Much of the area had been under flood warnings in May due to the large of amount of melting snow caused by the warmer than normal temperatures,
CBS affiliates of Denver reported that a combined team with members from the EPA, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and Noble Energy a working together to clean up the spill. The incident took place near the town of Windsor Co. which is northeast of Denver. Noble Energy states that much of the vegetation near the river has been saturated with oil and they will continue to work diligently to clean the affected areas and to return the river to normal. Some have called the incident a environmental disaster while others are grateful the damage as not much more severe.