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May 9, 2011
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Colorado regulators set hearing for drilling spill

PARACHUTE, Colo. - Oil and gas regulators have scheduled a hearing for a company that spilled more than 100,000 gallons of drilling fluid in western Colorado.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission scheduled the hearing for next week, more than three years after the release.

The Daily Sentinel reports Berry Petroleum reported the spill above Garden Gulch, a Parachute Creek tributary, in January 2008, but officials believe the spill began earlier. A fine hasn't been proposed yet, but officials believe the spill caused significant environmental impacts.

Regulators say Marathon Oil spilled about 1.26 million gallons of fracturing fluids at the same time. A hearing for Marathon hasn't been scheduled yet.

Regulators say the fluids froze waterfalls, inciting environmental concerns. Company officials say spill tests indicate contaminant levels were below drinking water standards.

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The Aspen Times Updated May 9, 2011 10:23PM Published May 9, 2011 10:22PM Copyright 2011 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.