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Oil and gas industry still cited for spills nearly 3 months after home explosion

DENVER -- Nearly four months after a home explosion in Firestone killed two men, the oil and gas industry in Colorado is still spilling and being cited for alleged violations.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers analyzed the data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which is available online. 

From May 1 to July 31, there were 157 spills statewide. In the same time in 2016, there were 111 reported spills statewide.

From May 1 to July 31, there were 20 citations by the state. In the same time frame in 2016, there were at least 34 statewide.

Anadarko, the company at the center of the Firestone tragedy, or its subsidiaries such as Kerr McGee, had 34 spills between May and July.  Last year, they reported 21.

"Those numbers do fluctuate from year to year," said Todd Hartman, a spokesman with the Department of Natural Resources.

Hartman said while the state takes every spill seriously, the agency has been impressed with the oil and gas industry's response after Gov. John Hickenlooper's recent executive order. 

"This is a very heavy lift that we have asked the industry to conduct in a very compressed time frame and we have been quite pleased with the industry's reaction," Hartman said.

Anadarko did not return calls seeking comment.