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Drinking water for Denver also threatened by nearby fracking

Amy Mall

Posted December 17, 2012

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In a recent post I blogged about the risks to drinking water sources for the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, western Colorado communities, and Athens, Ohio. We think these and other important watersheds should be off limits to fracking for oil and gas. But if any oil and gas development is allowed, it should be regulated under the strongest possible rules. The watersheds at risk are subject to federal oil and gas leases, with rules set out by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM is in the process of updating its rules, which is a good thing. But the agency's proposal is too weak, and needs to go farther to protect essential drinking water sources.

The latest watershed at risk is the watershed of Denver. The BLM is considering issuing oil and gas leases near the headwaters of the South Platte River and multiple large reservoirs that serve millions of Coloradans. Three reservoirs in the area--Antero, Spinney and Eleven Mile--provide water to Denver, Aurora, Wheat Ridge, Edgewater, Lakewood, Ken Caryl, Columbine, Columbine Valley, Littleton, Centennial, Greenwood Village, Cherry Hills, Federal Heights, Glendale, Lakeside and Sheridan. Thanks to Gary Wockner of Clean Water Action for this scary map that illustrates all too clearly what is at risk:

Here is an on-line petition where you can tell the BLM to write stronger rules for fracking in important watersheds, wildlife habitat, and communities across America:

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Michael BerndtsonDec 17 2012 11:37 AM

This is what you get when your State's governor is a petroleum geologist turned brew pub owner turned politician. But hey, he's cool, as the bros say. Denver is home of many multi-discipline consulting and engineering firms that would be more then willing to help with fracking development, delivery and operations on one end and water treatment on the other. Keeping billable hours up for each division. It's the new new-normal for closing the project cycle.

What's really insane is that Denver had a water shortage problem when I lived there over 20 years ago. That was when the population was half of what it is now. This drought isn't probably helping watershed issues either. I suppose.

Peter CrownfieldDec 18 2012 06:23 AM

Everyone unites in sympathy for the children killed & wounded in Connecticut, but nobody pays attention to the hundreds of children who are killed and sickened by toxic chemicals in the water they drink and the toxic food from the industrial system.

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