- Associated Press - Saturday, June 21, 2014

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - Environmental officials and work crews were preparing Saturday to remove oil-stained soil from an area where 7,500 gallons of crude leaked from a flood-damaged storage tank into a northern Colorado river.

Todd Hartman, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, said Noble Energy crews and officials with the Environmental Protection Agency were cleaning the site and draining a nearby storage tank on the Poudre River near Windsor. He said oil has affected some standing water and vegetation near the site, but because waters have receded, the threat of any remaining oil entering the river is “very low.”

The bank next to the storage tank was undercut by the high spring river flows, causing it to drop and break a valve. Noble Energy Inc., the tank’s operator, discovered the spill Friday and reported it to state officials.

Crews used absorbent material to soak up some oil, while a vacuum truck removed tainted water from a low-lying area near the damaged tank.

Hartman said no drinking water intakes on the Poudre were affected by the spill, but Noble Energy is draining a nearby undamaged oil storage tank as a precaution.

A call and an email to Noble Energy on Saturday were not immediately returned.

The site of the spill is southeast of Fort Collins near the Poudre River Trail.

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