Above: Flooded wells in Weld County, Colorado. Photo courtesy of Jane Pargiter, EcoFlight
In response to catastrophic floods in Colorado’s Front Range, SkyTruth is launching an online mapping tool to collect reports of damaged oil and gas infrastructure. As the floodwaters recede, dozens of photos are emerging of flood-damaged wells and storage tanks. Due to the environmental and public health hazards posed by chemicals used in drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking), public health officials and environmentalists are concerned about the contaminants faced by residents returning to flooded homes and communities.
The Front Range Flood Impacts map provides a public webspace for reporting and exploring damage to oil and gas infrastructure, including map-searchable descriptions and photos of leaking chemical tanks, oil slicks, and other evidence of contamination [Citizens are also encouraged to email reports to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission]. SkyTruth is making this information freely available to the public and will work to correlate incident reports with fracking chemical disclosures and other oil and gas drilling information.
SkyTruth is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit using remote sensing and digital mapping to create a world where all people can see and understand the environmental consequences of human activity everywhere on Earth, and are motivated to take action to protect the planet. SkyTruth documents the environmental impacts of oil and gas drilling through satellite and aerial images, and with resources such as a nationwide database of hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosures.