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Suncor Energy (U.S.A.) Incident
Mountain-Prairie Region
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Suncor Energy (U.S.A.) Incident


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Suncor Site photo with brown grass surrounding a stream with plastic and yellow man-made damns to stop contaminantes. Credit: USFWS.

Suncor Site photo. Credit: USFWS.

Background: Suncor owns and operates a refinery in Commerce City, Colorado (Suncor Refinery or Refinery) that produces gasoline, diesel fuel, and paving-grade asphalt. In November 2011, oil was discovered discharging into Sand Creek near its confluence with the South Platte River and not far from the Suncor Refinery. It was subsequently determined the discharge was the result of oil leaking from a subsurface pipe at the Refinery. The oil released from the pipe entered groundwater under the Suncor Refinery, where it commingled with an existing plume of contaminated groundwater and migrated offsite, ultimately leading to the discharge of oil into Sand Creek and the South Platte River. This same contaminated groundwater plume was also responsible for a discharge of oil into a wetland located on the Suncor Refinery property in February 2011 that resulted in waterfowl mortalities. In response to the discovery of the discharge to Sand Creek, Suncor took various actions pursuant to direction from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to limit, prevent and remediate the discharge of oil to Sand Creek, the South Platte River and their adjoining shorelines.

As described in more detail located in the public documents section, the Incident and related response activities resulted in injuries to
natural resources, including aquatic and riparian habitats, wetland habitat, waterfowl, and groundwater.

Public documents, links and contacts »

Public Documents



If you have any questions or comments related to the Suncor Energy (U.S.A.) Incident, contact us via email or telephone:
Laura ArchuletaContaminants Specialist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, phone 719-655-6121, fax 719-655-2502.


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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: September 12, 2019
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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