Timeline for cleanup from Clark, WY gas well blowout accelerated

CLARK — Plans to clean up the groundwater around a gas well that burst in 2006 have been accelerated now that benzene has turned up in a residential water well.

Excess pressure caused the blowout near a small rural subdivision a few miles south of the Montana line. About a dozen residents evacuated amid fear of an explosion or fire.

Workers plugged the 8,000-foot well with mud and homeowners returned after a few days. But concerns lingered about groundwater contamination.

Tests last year showed elevated levels of benzene in the well of Mel and Connie King, who were warned not to drink their water. Oklahoma City, Okla.-based Windsor Energy, which drilled the well, has since installed filtration equipment to remove contaminants and make the couple’s water safe to drink.

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