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Wed July 17, 2013
Wyo. Oil and Gas Commission takes up baseline water testing rule
The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission voted Tuesday to start the formal rulemaking process to establish baseline water testing in the state. The rule would require oil and gas operators to collect water samples before beginning development.
Wyoming Outdoor Council Environmental Quality Coordinator Amber Wilson says, overall, her group is happy that the rule is progressing, but she says they will seek more information about a newly added component called the “master plan.” The master plan would allow operators to submit a different approach to baseline sampling analysis and monitoring than the one outlined in the rules. If it meets or exceeds the state’s regulations, the Supervisor of the Commission could choose to allow it, and Wilson wants to make sure the option does not undermine the rule.
“We’ll be seeking some more clarification on that and making sure that this isn’t an opportunity for an operator to come up with their own plan that may or may not be better than this proposed rule, especially because meets or exceeds isn’t something that’s black and white,” says Wilson.
The draft rule will be open for public comment once it leaves the Governor’s office in 10 days. The Commission expects to vote on a final rule in October.