Energy Firms Attempt Private Cleanup of Contaminated Creek in Osage County

A new effort is being made this week in the cleanup of a contaminated section of Bird Creek on the Chapman Ranch in Osage County. The creek was the subject of a visit by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt last spring and has been the target of EPA concerns over salt water that might be seeping from nearby wastewater injection wells.

Kelly Bostian at the Tulsa World reports two oil companies plan to try their own method of cleaning up the creek.  They are making the move but still don’t believe their operations caused the contamination. The creek is also not on land leased by the two firms.

Warren American Oil Co. and Jireh Resources LLC plan to carry out pumping operations in an attempt to remove the salty water and see if it will be replaced by fresh water.

“This is one of the deepest holes and it still has a higher concentration of salt water,” said Doug Norton, chief operating office at Warren. “We are absolutely convinced that our operations had nothing to do with the contamination but the EPA order would shut us in, so we need to do whatever we can to help everyone understand what’s going on out there. I think this is something we can do and it’s a reasonable thing to do.”

The two companies contacted the EPA and the Osage Land and Cattle Co. for permission to pump out the saltwater. The contaminated water was discovered in the summer of 2016.

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