By Kristin Espeland
Laramie, WY – Cattle routinely graze in Wyoming's gas fields, and most often manage to avoid hazards. But this month near Pinedale, seven steer were found dead after drinking contaminated water. Bureau of land management spokesman Rey Adame says the cattle drank from a catch basin filled with hydrocarbon-laced water. He says contractors accidentally left it open after repairs to a pipeline at the bridger compression station. Adame says he hasn't heard of any similar incidents in several years. However, in late April officials found that benzene, which is a hydrocarbon that can cause human health problems, had seeped into local well water in sublette county. They said there was no immediate danger to anyone using the well water.