Your Evening News - December 12th, 2014

Dec 12, 2014

Fracking Fluids Study

Scientists are trying to learn a lot more about effects of oil and gas drilling and a new report is looking chiefly at fracking fluids.

Researchers with Colorado State University looked at the most toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Scientists reviewed all the existing research to see how those chemicals travel in the natural environment, how long they last, and whether they post a risk to human health. They found that most of the more toxic chemicals are also used in other industrial and commercial work. More than half are particularly dangerous to humans, or could be over time. And they’re most likely to pollute the environment during surface spills.

Scientists also came up with recommendations for urgently needed research. One example is what happens to the chemicals when they’re injected deep into the ground.

Oil & Gas Meeting in Rifle Wraps Up

A two day meeting in Rifle around oil and gas issues wrapped up yesterday. The oil and gas task force was created by Governor Hickenlooper. It’s charged with harmonizing local and state regulations around energy development. Citizens, industry workers and elected leaders presented ideas on regulations. During a panel on citizens impacted by energy extraction, Battlement Mesa residents talked about health problems related to nearby natural gas drilling. Doug Sexton urged the task force to pay attention to community needs.

“Our health, our childrens’ health, our property, our quality of life are all subject of your deliberations.”

The task force will meet next in Greeley. Its members have just two more meetings before they deliver recommendations to the governor. KDNK contributed to this report.

New Colorado VA Hospital Construction Halted

Construction has come to a halt on the new $600 million plus Veterans Administration hospital in Aurora. The contractor is walking away after a fight over the money needed to finish it. Kiewit-Turner is the company building the new hospital. But, now it says it is halting construction. On Tuesday, a federal appeal board ruled the VA didn’t live up to the contract for the project. That panel determined the VA's plan would cost more than $1 billion to construct, according to the Denver Post. That’s well over the $600 million the VA budgeted for the project. The board says the VA isn’t planning to request more money. Members of Colorado's congressional delegation say they hope they two sides can resolve the conflict.

Colorado River “Thank You”

The Environmental Defense Fund wants to recognize thousands of officials who helped let the Colorado River flow to the sea earlier this year. It was the first time in about two decades that the river met the ocean.

Today, the environmental group is sending out “thank you” notes to more than 15,000 water leaders in Mexico and the United States, saying this.

“Never before have two nations come together like this for the sake of the health of a river and its delta. Your years of negotiating will ensure positive outcomes not only for habitats and species, but also for Colorado River communities on both sides of the border.”

The effort is being announced today at a conference for the Colorado River Water Users Association in Las Vegas.

Explosive Find in Rifle

A bomb squad from Grand Junction removed two 50-pound boxes of dynamite from a shed near Rifle today. The property owner was cleaning the shed when the explosives were discovered.

Besides the dynamite, blasting caps and other potentially explosive items were found at the shed in the Grass Mesa subdivision. The bomb squad arrived Thursday night and determined the explosives were too unstable to be moved very far. A robot was used to delicately move the explosives from the building and the squad detonated them later.

Law enforcement says it’s not unusual to find small caches of unused explosives in Garfield County, where there’s a history of ranching, mining and oil and gas development. These old explosives are dangerous because they can detonate with just a slight movement. If such items are found, law enforcement suggests contacting them right away.

Funeral for New Castle Airman This Weekend

A funeral is scheduled this weekend in Rifle for an Air Force Captain who died recently in the Middle East.

The Associated Press reports Captain Will Dubois of New Castle died December first when his F-16 crashed in Jordan during a mission to attack ISIS. Earlier this week, Governor Hickenlooper ordered lowering flags around the state to half-staff through Sunday.

Dubois was a Rifle High School graduate and his funeral will be held at the school on Sunday.