http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/359205

Colorado flooding exposes huge environmental damage

Posted Sep 28, 2013 by Dragos Ilca
Following the Colorado flooding, thousands of gallons of oil have been spilled. The waters swept clean the state's booming oil and gas industry as the authorities in Colorado counted "notable" oil spills.
Screen capture of oil spill originating in Ecuador in 2013
Screen capture of oil spill originating in Ecuador in 2013
Diario HOY Ecuador/YouTube screen shot
The torrential rains at the beginning of this month brought with them floods of "biblical" proportions.
As the waters drain to the east and the situation begins to be under control, the authorities started to evaluate the extent of the environmental damage.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission announced on Thursday that there are 112 oil and gas releases classified as "notable." According to Huffington Post, the number remained unchanged from Wednesday.
There are 14 sites with evidence of a "minor release" and 60 other sites with notable damage to the tanks but no oil spill. So far, a total of 890 barrels of oil -- or 37,380 gallons -- have been released in Colorado ensuing the catastrophic floods that caused the deaths of eight people and more than $2 billion in property damage, according to Huffington Post.
The president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, Tisha Conoly Schuller, said:
“In the context of hundreds of billions of gallons of rain, and millions of gallons of raw sewage, 37,000 gallons is pretty small."
However, environmentally-concerned people say now the groundwater, soil and rivers are stained with oil, posing a serious threat for the surrounding areas. Furthermore, according to The New York Times, the environmental advocates criticized state regulations that allowed drilling facilities to be placed along flood plains. While drilling wells must be firmly anchored in the ground, many of them did not survive the direct impact with trees, rocks and other debris.
In the light of the debate between environmental advocates and oil industries, the state officials discovered that the flooding had also released other bacterias that pose a serious health threat.
If there is a positive aspect to the massive Colorado flooding, Gary Wockner, from Clean Water Action says, "it's that we have the opportunity to change that as we move forward and create much better regulations that would protect the public, and the environment, and of course our water source as we move forward."