By Addie Goss
Laramie, Wy – The Environmental Protection Agency says several provisions in Wyoming's proposed rule for regulating coal bed methane water appear to be inconsistent with the Clean Water Act. The state Department of Environmental Quality has been trying to get a formal rule approved on regulating coal bed methane water. It gave up on that effort last week after an independent review found flaws with the proposal. The EPA yesterday (Tuesday) put out its comments on those proposed rules anyway. The agency says those proposed rules are unclear about whether they protect water used for irrigation. Steve Jones with the Wyoming Outdoor Council says the EPA is making sure that the state DEQ protects all kinds of irrigation water from coal bed methane contamination.
"We're very much supportive of what EPA has said here, in saying that you have to protect the uses that are out there whether they're existing or attainable, which essentially means to us that they have to protect all water for irrigation uses, period." Jones says it is unusual that the EPA commented on the proposed rules... after they had been withdrawn.