DENVER — The Center for Western Priorities has released statewide data via a spill tracker on its website, which shows that oil and gas companies reported 495 spills in Colorado last year, according to an article by The Daily Sentinel.

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The article reported that 71 spills impacted groundwater last year and 41 impacted surface water.

These numbers represent an increase from 2012, when 399 spills were reported in the state, and correspond to the general increase of spills over the past decade as oil and gas activity has grown, the article noted.

“We can have responsible energy development, but we have to be realistic about the risks,” the center’s policy director, Greg Zimmerman, said in a prepared statement. “Now, more than ever, we need to ensure companies are held to the highest standards and we have to be thoughtful about where we permit companies to drill.”

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) requires notification within 24 hours of any spills that impact or threaten waters of the state, occupied structures, livestock, public byways or surface water supply areas, according to the article.

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