A group of Pavillion residents says Wyoming officials betrayed them by delaying the release of information tentatively connecting hydraulic fracturing with groundwater pollution in the area.
An Associated Press investigation shows that Gov. Matt Mead convinced the Environmental Protection Agency to delay its draft report on the contamination by a full month. Mead and other state officials used the extra time to try and debunk the findings before they could harm the oil and gas industries.
Western state officials took turns bashing the federal government at a congressional field hearing on proposed nationwide drilling rules on hydraulic fracturing. But Democrats on the panel Wednesday, along with some Colorado environmental activists, insisted that health concerns around the drilling procedure known as fracking mean there is a need for common health and safety standards. Officials from Colorado, Wyoming and Utah testified before the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Wednesday at the
A new independent review of the E-P-A study on hydraulic fracturing in Pavillion confirms the link between water contamination and fracking. The review was requested by a conglomerate of environmental groups.
One of the criticisms of the E-P-A study was that it was poorly conducted science, and therefore, put forth unreliable conclusions. But the hydrologic consultant who did the review, Tom Myers, says the E-P-A did goodwork.
A Wyoming court is being asked to rule that the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has been too liberal in giving industry the opportunity to withhold what chemicals are involved in fracking. Laura Veaton of Earth Justice says that of the 52 requests to withhold trade secrets, 50 have been granted. Veaton says some were granted even though some companies did not comply with state requirements.
State, tribal and federal officials have agreed to work collaboratively in Pavillion to do further sampling and collect more data in their water monitoring wells. The move is expected to push back a final report on a possible link between water contamination and hydraulic fracturing in the area until later this year.
At a meeting with Pavillion residents this morning, Governor Mead said he wants to continue providing people with safe water.
Pavillion is at the center of an EPA investigation about whether hydraulic fracturing has contaminated the town’s drinking water supply. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease recommended that residents refrain from drinking the water AND shower with their windows open, and as a result, area oil and gas producer EnCana, and the state of Wyoming, are now paying to have bottled water delivered to residents.
In the wake of a congressional hearing over a draft report by the Environmental Protection Agency that links hydraulic fracturing with water contamination in the town of Pavillion, the Wind River Tribes are pushing to take a bigger role in the investigation.
Tomorrow, the U-S House of Representatives’ Energy and Environment Subcommittee will hear about the Environmental Protection Agency’s ongoing investigation of groundwater contamination in the town of Pavillion. However, Pavillion residents say they were not invited to testify.
In December the EPA released a draft report on its three-year water contamination investigation. It indicated that ground water in Pavillion’s aquifer contains compounds that are “likely associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing.”
A federal report possibly linking groundwater pollution to hydraulic fracturing in central Wyoming is not discouraging hopes for the Niobrara oil play in the southeast part of the state.
Many are questioning the scientific conclusions of the Environmental Protection Agency findings on the technique to extract oil and gas.
But both EPA and industry representatives say the specific concerns raised in the report are not applicable to southeast Wyoming. That is because the Niobrara formation is geologically much different than the Pavillion area.
Residents of the town of Pavillion say a company called Legacy Reserves LP has entered an agreement to purchase natural gas properties in the area from the current owner, Encana.
Representatives from Legacy Reserves did not return calls to confirm the sale, but according to their website, the Midland, Texas-based company will purchase several properties in Freemont County, where Pavillion is located, for 45-million dollars.