Last December, the residents of Longmont, Colorado, were informed in a city council meeting that a TOP Operating well leaked benzene. When the water table around the Serafini well was tested in August, the results showed benzene levels at well above state limits.
TOP Operating, the only oil and gas operator in Longmont, is working with the state to restore the well back to safe levels, although there was no time frame given for the process.
The Serafini well, located “in the middle of a field” according to Longmont general manager of public works and natural resources Dale Rademacher, isn’t anywhere near residences or water wells.
The benzene was discovered during routine monitoring the city set in place five years ago. The city now contracts a company to monitor air and water quality at the oil and gas wells after a TOP Operating well near Trail Ridge Middle School leaked in 2011, spilling benzene into the environment. This led Longmont residents to push for stricter regulations on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” Some residents demanded the practice be banned altogether.
Benzene, a key ingredient in gasoline, is used in a wide variety of industries and products. Inhalation is the most common exposure pathway, but the chemical can also be absorbed through the skin. Benzene exposure can cause life-threatening diseases including Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), lymphomas and aplastic Anemia.
People who work in close proximity to benzene are at higher risk of long-term occupational exposure, although it can take years before a disease or cancer manifests from benzene exposure. If you or a loved one was exposed to benzene and was diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma, please contact a Beasley Allen attorney for a complimentary, no-cost consultation to learn your legal rights.
Source: Daily Camera