Tag Archives: colorado

The Hazmat of Pre-Refined Gas and a House Explosion

Map of oil and gas wells in Colorado. Click on the map to link to the interactive map. From the Denver Post.

Pre-refined gas is a mixture of methane and propane that comes from natural gas wells. Pre-refined means that it hasn’t yet been refined into natural gas for energy. It is an extremely flammable gas and a hazard that is managed in the oil and gas industry. It’s not something you should have to worry about blowing up your home. Unfortunately a pipeline leaked this gas into a house in Firestone, CO. The house was built only a few hundred feet from a natural gas well. The leaking gas ignited in the house and the explosion killed 2 people. You can read more about this tragedy here. I’ve been asked about this several times since it happened. Therefore, here’s the basic how and why. Continue reading

The World’s First Fully Solar-Powered Beer Fest

img_9450I had the pleasure to attend, and sample, a very fun beer fest in Grand Lake, CO. It was part of the Spirit of the Lake Regatta and Grand Lake Brewfest, Aug 13, 2016. Finding a beer fest during a vacation is good enough. Then I saw that it was a fundraiser for youth outdoor environmental education programs. It also claimed to be the worlds’ first fully solar-powered beer fest. Even the live band was powered by solar panels. Hosted by Infinite West, it was a net-zero, zero waste event that was the perfect example of the environment of beer! Continue reading

Environment of Beer: Coors Brewery Tour

Coors Brewery, Golden, COThe Coors Brewery Tour is known for 2 things: 1) seeing behind the scenes of the iconic brewery in Golden, CO, and 2) the free beer in the Tasting Room. But there are several environmental related topics presented throughout the tour. I’ve highlighted several of them here, along with some information from the MillerCoors Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship pages. I’ve toured several breweries. Each time I’m reminded of the industrial process involved in brewing and packaging. So I also have on my CHMM-hat looking the environmental, health, and safety of the brewery. Continue reading

Environmental Art: Cold War Horse

Cold War HorseThis is part of a series where I explore interesting pieces of environmental art.

Cold War Horse is a creepy, powerful, thought-provoking statue in the expanding suburbs of western Arvada, CO, northwest of Denver. It’s a beautiful part of the Denver metro area at the base of the Front Range Mountains. The setting and expanding suburbs is part of the reason it is displayed here. If you were driving along and only paying casual attention, you’d think it was merely a red horse statue, and probably wonder, “Why is there a red horse statue out here?” and go on with your day. If you look closer, or better yet stop and get out, it’s chilling. Continue reading

Environment of the Bolder Boulder

The Bolder Boulder finishes inside Folsom Field.

The Bolder Boulder finishes inside Folsom Field under the scenic Flatirons.

There are running races held each weekend around the country from early spring through Thanksgiving. Very few, if any of them have 50,000 runners, 70,000 spectators, and run through an environmentally conscious town. The Bolder Boulder 10K is that race. Most races are small and don’t have to consider their environmental impact. Bringing 100,000 people into a town of 100,000 people for a running race will certainly have an environmental impact. What is that impact? What is the environment of the Bolder Boulder? Continue reading

Glenwood Canyon Geology: A Drive By

Glenwood Canyon

Entering Glenwood Canyon from the east.

Driving on I-70 through Colorado is beautiful. From Denver to Vail the drive through the mountains is spectacular. You go over two 10,000+ ft mountain passes – the Continental Divide and Vail Pass. Then there’s a big change. The geography and geology transform drastically as you approach Glenwood Canyon. Even if you have no interest in geology or physiographic provinces, it’s a fun, cool drive. Here’s the drive-by look at the geography and geology of the canyon. “Layman’s terms. None of that inside bs jargon.Continue reading

The Toxic Animas River

You’ve seen the orange yellow water. It’s diluted downstream. But do you know what toxins were actually released in the Animas River? What are the hazards of this contamination? Here’s a look at the Toxic Animas River.

Although the metals will dilute downstream, they are heavy metals. That means much of it has settled on the bottom of the river and/or attached to organic matter. That’s good. The settled metals will be covered over by more river sediment, which reduces exposure. That’s bad. They’re still in there, exposed to the water and can be kicked up. Continue reading