Flooded oil and gas operations in northeastern Colorado.
Credit Bob Winkler / Weld Air and Water
Colorado state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush says she plans to take up the issue of water contamination and greater setbacks for oil and gas wells from waterways in the wake of September's devastating flooding.
A crude oil storage tank lies on its side in floodwaters along the South Platte River, in Weld County, Colo., on Sept. 17. Hundreds of natural gas and oil wells along with pipelines are shut down by flooding, as state and federal inspectors gauge the damage and look for potential contamination from inundated oil fields.
The heavy floodwaters in Colorado this month caused more than 37,000 gallons of oil to spill into or near rivers, and the state's oil and gas industry is rushing to fix equipment damaged during the storm. It comes at a time when there's growing public concern about the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing in the state.