Denver Direct: Xcel Energy’s Transformer Fire – Updated

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Xcel Energy’s Transformer Fire – Updated

Local citizens are reporting a dusting of fallout from the fire. Did these transformers contain PCBs? Is the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment doing any testing? I’ve got a call in but no answer yet.

Update: Monday, 6/8/10, 5:30 pm.
Lori Maldonado, speaking for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, assured me that Xcel, various Denver Departments, and the EPA were all on top of this and that monitoring of the air and water quality was on-going. The oil in the transformers did not contain PCBs as that old oil was swapped out years ago. However, “residuals” containing some PCBs were possible, and the test results would determine the levels, if any.

So far, all of the results were within EPA acceptable levels.

Results of “soot swath” tests would be announced tomorrow, after a scheduled 9:00 conference call among the agencies.

From the Denver Post:

Champagne said fire crews used foam to control the flames and still had some concerns about the possibility of hazardous chemicals, including cancer-causing PCBs, at the scene.

The department was trying to be sure none of the runoff from the fire entered storm drains.