(Green River Utah)- The amount of oil that entered the Green River is not yet known following last week’s oil spill on public land near the city of Green River, Utah. Beth Ransel with the Bureau of Land Management says a thunderstorm caused oil and other contaminants from the leaking oil well to enter the river.
Audio Ransel 1) :11 “On Saturday it was discovered that the storm event overcame those preventative measures and oil residues that were present in the wash did make their way into the Green River.”
Ransel says the oil spill happened last Wednesday at a well owned by SW Energy approximately 12 miles southeast of the town. She adds that mechanical failure on the 45-year-old well appears to be the cause of the leak. The Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining as well as the Environmental Protection Agency have personnel monitoring the cleanup efforts. Tim Wagner with the Sierra Club of Utah says any amount of oil is particularly dangerous because the Green River is part of the Colorado River System, which supplies water to several Western states.
Audio WAGNER2 :13 “Particularly this spill that’s directly in the water supply for 35 million people in the American Southwest. I’d be greatly concerned if I was the mother of four kids in Tucson, Arizona who gets their water from the Colorado River.”
Wagner says he believes there should be much tighter government regulations on energy companies to help prevent future oil spills.