On Thursday, the Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance released a report that shows impacts of oil and gas spills on some of America’s most prized areas for hunting and fishing. Hunting and fishing has an enormous impact on the nation’s economy – more than $76 billion per year.

The report analyzed three Colorado counties, Ro Blanco, Mesa and Garfield, that sit in the Piceance Basin, an area with a high level of drilling activity and a popular spot for hunting and fishing.

Some key findings:

  • From 2001 to 2010, there were 992 oil and gas spills reported in the three-county region resulting in at 5.6 million gallons of wastewater, oil and other fluids being spilled into the local waterways.
  • About 91 percent of the oil and gas fluids spilled in the three counties from 2001 to 2010 was waste water, also known as produced water.  That water can contain salt, oil and grease, along with naturally occurring radioactive material and inorganic and organic compounds.
  • Equipment failure was the leading cause for spills in Garfield, Rio Blanco, and Mesa counties. At least 49 percent of the 992 spills were caused by faulty equipment.