COGIS - Complaint Reports

Form 18/18A                                                    Related   Doc
Date Rec'd: 7/2/2008 Method Received:   
DocNum: 200191771 Routed to Agency:  
Complaint Type: Facility ID:


Complainant Information

Name: Lisa Bracken
Address: 6548 CR 331  Silt , CO 81652
Date Received: 7/2/2008
Connection to Incident: landowner

Description of Complaint:

Oper. No.

Date of Incident: 6/30/2008
Type of Facility:
Fac. Name
County Name: GARFIELD
Operator contact:
qtrqtr: NWNW section: 12 township: 7S range: 92W meridian: 6

Complaint Issue
Issue:     GROUND WATER Assigned To:    Robert Chesson Status:     Resolved     8/30/2011
Description: Lisa Bracken notified the COGCC that she had observed what she believed was gas seeping into West Divide Creek
Resolution: In response to your 7/2/2008 complaint of (what complaintant believed to be) gas seeping into West divide Creek; COGCC staff conducted sampling and determined that no oil or gas impact has occurred.
Letter Sent?:     N Report Links:     

Other Notifications
Date:    8/30/2011 Agency:     Contact:    Lisa Bracken
Response or Details
In response to your 7/2/2008 complaint of (what complaintant believed to be) gas seeping into West divide Creek; COGCC staff conducted sampling and determined that no oil or gas impact has occurred.
Date:    1/2/2009 Agency:    COGCC Contact:    Margaret Ash
Response or Details
Letter and analytical data sent to complainant. No VOC, SVOC or GRO detected. Three DRO detections are near detection level and do not represent disel or biodiesel pattern. No indication of oil and gas impact.
Date:    12/4/2008 Agency:    COGCC Contact:    Margaret Ash
Response or Details
Margaret Ash, DAve Neslin and Kevin King met complainant onsite along with Cordilleran and EnCana staff. Sample of groundwater seep collected.
Date:    10/14/2008 Agency:    COGCC Contact:    Margaret Ash
Response or Details
Margaret Ash colelcted addtional soil samples, forbs and sampled the water well. Samples submitted to STL on 10-15-08.
Date:    10/3/2008 Agency:     Contact:    Margaret Ash
Response or Details
Submitted samples of sand from Area 5 and Area 10 and a frac sand sample received from Encana to lab for XRD and texture analysis.
Date:    9/25/2008 Agency:     Contact:    Lisa Bracken
Response or Details
Margaret Ash met Ms Bracken onsite. Reviewed areas of concern and collected samples. Samples submitted to Test America on 9-26-08.
Date:    7/2/2008 Agency:    Encana Contact:    chris williams
Response or Details
Date:    7/1/2008 Agency:     Contact:    lisa bracken
Response or Details
Debbie, As you know, no bubbling in our beaver pond occurred prior to the Schwartz well event in 2004. As you know, or perhaps you don’t know because of a failure to follow-up, the bubbling ceased after the Schwartz well was remediated. As you perhaps know, the bubbling in Divide Creek was initially discovered on Mr. Thompson’s and our property, yet – was never, to our knowledge, tested nor was it ever the focus of remediation. As you may or may not know, because of a failure to follow-up that, the bubbling in the creek on those properties also subsided after remediation of the Schwartz well. As you know, that location is just upstream from our water well. As you also may know, just prior to the Schwartz incident in 2004 the Arbaney well site experienced significant problems, causing a sub-surface disturbance that extended approximately a mile onto our property – so much of a disturbance that one neighbor’s home was knocked off its foundation and another neighbor noted a subsequent difference in the height of a hillock that runs parallel between the Arbaney well site and our home. As you may know, the Arbaney well site experienced seeps around this same time. As you also may know, none of these events were even considered correlative which may explain your evident difficulty in recognizing the potential or actual extent of the real and potentially far-reaching impacts associated with the Schwartz and perhaps Arbaney events. You’re right, I do know, yet appreciate your reminding me of the COGCC’ sampling efforts on our behalf. I do hope, however, you understand that this situation appears to be dynamic. I would certainly hope that you don’t consider the COGCC’s most recent effort, when the creek was frozen, to be sufficient in rendering a conclusion when these circumstances have never been seen before on our property to this dramatic of a degree, and only once, slightly so, during the 2004 seep event. The following may help explain our perspective on this issue. 1) This seep is a seep. Substances are seeping from the banks on the creek. 2) This has never happened before other than the event in 2004 where I have provided on-line comparable photographs to show this identical-appearing phenomenon on Mr. Langegger’s property. 3) After the Schwartz well was remediated, Mr. Langegger’s spring cleared up. 4) We’ve never had bubbling in our pond until the seep in 2004. 5) Though it was deemed biogentic – and may well have been – it, too, disappeared after the Schwartz well was remediated. 6) Yet – our pond was never considered an aspect of the 2004 event. Again, we were seen to have been overreacting to what was quickly and I believe inappropriately deemed by your agency to be events naturally occurring within the beaver pond environment. 7) The Schwartz site was re-entered a year ago – which is when we began to see bubbling in the ponds again. 8) The bubbling continued to increase resulting in a continuous 8 minute expression of gas (which is when we ran out of film for our camera) – then established vent holes, then biofilm, and now, finally – almost a year later - this extreme proliferation of what probably is microbial matter. 9) But, what is its source? Why is it no where else when the environment on our property is consistently similar? 10) Although there is no Pepsi-can-like fizzing in the creek…. although no one is lighting a match to a funnel and creating a foot-tall flame, I would hope that you, at least, might realize, that while such a proliferation of algae - black, red, white, black or yellow - may be common in other areas of the country – in other environments, it is NOT common here, and has occurred only once in association with a faulty well – and disappeared when the well was correctly cemented. I am disheartened that such an event can occur and no one acknowledges the negative impact or alteration in the environment and therefore attempts to account for a possible cause, beyond initial parameters of identification of gas – which as you surely know is complex. It seems to be generally regarded as simply a change, whether or not a degradation, and everyone moves on. We believe that when EnCana suggests that this area or region is riddled with seeps that have existed for thousands of years, it is a mischaracterization used to misdirect attention and defer accountability while continuing to bring change to a fragile environment which, because of it highly vertically faulted nature, should probably not be drilled until a way can be found to do so without affecting the environment as they have and continue to do. I can appreciate the fact that the COGCC is understaffed and tight-budgeted. What I cannot appreciate is detecting major changes in an environment that has remained consistently whole and healthy with the exception of introduced and affecting industrial activities. Nor can I appreciate a failure to fully account for hydro and geological implications related to those activities. If you would like to observe ponded areas on our property rich with micro-and macro organic matter both in a decaying state as well as burgeoning with life, I would be happy to take you on a tour, so that you can see for yourself that this situation is indeed anomalous. Perhaps, given the explanation above you can better appreciate my sense of “urgency” given this situation appears to have been progressing for nearly a year, and finally culminated in truly alarming concern. Thank you, however, for your thoughtful reply, Lisa Bracken
Date:    6/30/2008 Agency:    cogcc Contact:    debbie baldwin
Response or Details
Lisa: As you know since 2004, the COGCC staff has responded to your concerns about potential gas seepage along West Divide Creek on your property and to date we have not found any indication that the seepage you have observed is related to oil and gas activity. Last year both EnCana and COGCC investigated a similar allegation and samples were collected in November and December 2007. In 2004, I personally collected gas samples from your beaver ponds and at other locations of concern to you. Since 2004, samples have been collected at 9 different locations. These samples have been collected by COGCC staff and 3rd party consultants on behalf of EnCana. These samples have been analyzed for a variety of parameters including natural gas compounds (methane, ethane, propane, butane, pentane, hexanes), heavier hydrocarbon compounds including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes (BTEX), stable isotopes of methane, bacteria (iron related, sulfate reducing, and slime), major anions and cations, and other field and laboratory tests. To date, BTEX compounds have not been detected in any of the samples. Although methane has been detected, stable isotope analysis indicates that it is biogenic not thermogenic and the heavier natural gas compounds (propane, butane, pentane, hexanes) that are part of the gas produced by the wells in your area have not been detected. Some of the samples have been tested using biological activity and reaction test (BART) techniques. BART analyses detect the presence of iron related, sulfate reducing, and slime bacteria. Large quantities of these bacteria were detected in the samples tested. These naturally occurring nuisance bacteria produce iridescent sheens on stagnant water, iron hydroxide (orange/rust colored) stained slime, black slime, and red, orange, and/or black particles. In 2004, during my inspections along West Divide Creek I observed this kind of biological activity at numerous locations and I believe that I pointed out occurrences to you at a couple of locations on your property. From the photographs you have provided us, it appears that what you are observing are deposits related to biological activity of these nuisance bacteria. Nonetheless Chris Canfield (COGCC EPS II) is on his way out to your property to inspect and collect samples for chemical analysis. In addition, earlier today Gary Helgeland (COGCC field inspector) inspected what you are interpreting as new seeps along West Divide Creek. It is unfortunate that for a variety of reasons you were not able to contact the COGCC this weekend; however, I am disappointed that you did not allow the COGCC time to investigate your allegation before you contacted the press and the EPA. As always COGCC will provide all of the analytical results to you. Please call me if you have any questions or if you would like to discuss this matter further. Regards. Debbie Baldwin, Environmental Manager COGCC 1120 Lincoln Street Suite 801 Denver, CO 80203 phone: 303-894-2100 fax: 303-894-2109 email:
Date:    6/30/2008 Agency:    COGCC Contact:    Chris Canfield
Response or Details
Conducted site inspection. There is no gas seepage but algal/bacteria build-ups probably due to recent high water and abundant dead vegetation along creek course. COGCC collected samples from 2 areas for both chemical and bacteria analyses. Samples were hand delivered to the lab.

Sunday, June 26, 2022