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People Living Near Oil Well Leak Concerned About Impact To Water, Air

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WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- An oil well leak has been capped and crews have been cleaning up the green substance that has been oozing from the well north of Windsor but people living nearby are concerned about the impact to their water supply.

PDC Energy out of Denver operates the oil well and rig. They said a bolt sheared off Monday morning causing the release of what’s called “flow-back fluid,” and oil-water hydraulic fluid that surfaces after fracking.

PDC said the incident was not fracking related, no gas escaped and the public was never in danger.

“We’ve got an environmental team, we have booms on location absorbing it, we’ve got a recovery hatch that fluid is flowing into,” said PDC Energy Senior VP of Operations Bart Brookman.

But people who live nearby aren’t buying the explanation.

“The actual incident had nothing to do with a fracking operation but they said what was coming up and I know was coming up was fracking fluid,” said resident Ken Hall.

“Just wondering how it impacts the air quality and if it’s going to contaminate the water, the soil,” said neighbor Angela Varra.

For more than 30 hours Hall watched green fracking fluid spew from this oil well near his Weld County home. He calls oil drilling a double-edged sword.

“This is part of the risk of fracking I guess. We need the energy we need the jobs so it’s part of what we do I guess.” said Hall.

After a scary incident in their own backyard neighbors said when it comes to fracking, public safety should always be the top priority.

“We just hope that the best decisions are being made and doing what’s necessary to keep it safe.” said another neighbor.

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