groundwater

News
5:55 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Pavillion Cistern Program To Receive Money For Water Delivery

Governor Matt Mead is committing $400,000 dollars for water delivery to households with cisterns in the Pavillion area. Residents have long complained of unusable well water, which some blame on nearby natural gas development. The money is part of a grant from Encana Oil and Gas, which operates in the Pavillion gas field.

19 cisterns are currently being installed, with another 13 households signed up.

The Governor’s Natural Resources Policy Advisor, Jerimiah Rieman, says residents will meet later this week to discuss how to use the money.

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News
6:17 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Environmental groups urge speedy development of pollution prevention plan for Pinedale

Credit Courtesy Linda Baker

Environmental groups are urging the Bureau of Land Management to quickly develop a plan for preventing future groundwater pollution in the Pinedale Anticline gas fields.

The BLM released a report this week that said groundwater contamination in the area was mostly not a result of natural gas production. But Bruce Pendery with the Wyoming Outdoor Council says regulators still need to be vigilant in preventing potential future problems.

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FrackingDisclosure
10:02 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Court hears challenge to fracking chemical trade secret exemption

The Wyoming Supreme Court heard a case Wednesday challenging the state’s process for exempting fracking chemicals from public disclosure. Wyoming was the first state in the nation to adopt a disclosure law, but it included what some say is a massive loophole: companies can petition for what’s called a trade secret exemption. They’ve done that more than a hundred times since the law went into effect in 2010.

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Baseline testing
8:44 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Wyoming adopts baseline testing rule

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission hears from the baseline testing working group at a hearing in Casper on November 12, 2013.
Credit Stephanie Joyce

On Tuesday, Wyoming joined the growing list of states that will require groundwater testing at oil and gas wells before and after drilling occurs.  The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission voted to require three rounds of testing at water wells within a half-mile of the drilling pad.

Companies will have to test for a variety of potential contaminants in the water, from volatile organic compounds to bacteria.
In comments following the vote, Governor Matt Mead praised his fellow commissioners for approving the rules.

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News
7:03 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Conservation groups use videos to encourage improving water quality

Three conservation organizations have released a series of web videos, encouraging Wyomingites to improve water quality.

The videos highlight best management practices some landowners are using to handle E. coli, selenium and sediment, among other issues.

Kathy Rosenthal is the watershed coordinator for the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts, one of the partner groups producing the videos. Rosenthal acknowledged a lack of awareness as one of the major obstacles for Wyoming’s water quality going forward.

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News
8:08 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Groundwater use restrictions placed on parts of Goshen County

Wyoming State Engineer Pat Tyrrell has placed restrictions on groundwater use near LaGrange in Goshen County.

Tyrrell says there’s not enough water to go round in the Horse Creek Basin, and that groundwater and surface water in the area are connected. That means people with wells could be taking water that surface water users are entitled to.

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News
5:31 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Groundwater testing draft rules get support, feedback

Several groups submitted comments Thursday on the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s draft rule for groundwater testing in the state. The rule would require that energy companies test groundwater quality before and after oil and gas drilling.

Richard Garrett is a policy analyst with the Wyoming Outdoor Council, one of the groups that submitted comments. He says his group and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) made recommendations that they hope will close any potential loopholes in the law.

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News
6:33 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

New report says contaminated uranium site more complex than previously thought

Credit US Department of Energy

The Department of Energy says that the high levels of uranium at a contaminated site on Wind River Reservation might not flush out of the groundwater naturally in 100 years, like they previously thought.  

Tailings from a uranium mill that functioned at the Riverton Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act site in the 1960s left the area’s groundwater with high levels of uranium and the DOE took over management of the site in the late ‘80s.

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News
3:24 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Oil and Gas Conservation Commission considers baseline water testing

The Supervisor of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission says his agency is accepting public comment on a rule that would require baseline water testing.

The rule requires water testing before oil and gas development begins and after it ends.  Grant Black says when problems occur, it’s important to have all the facts.   

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Baseline Testing
5:41 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

WY Oil and Gas Conservation Commission prepares to draft rules for baseline groundwater testing

Credit The University of Wisconsin

Wyoming’s new energy policy places a central focus on requiring oil and gas developers to conduct baseline groundwater testing, and the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has been tasked with drafting the new rules for the testing.

 The Gov. Matt Mead’s Natural Resource Policy Advisor, Jerimiah Rieman, told the legislature’s Joint Minerals Committee today that the initiative is like a cheap insurance policy for industry.

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Water waste
6:16 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Energy group says fracking water report is sensational

An energy group says a recently released report overstated issues of water use by the oil and gas industry. The Western Organization of Resource Councils released the report last month and said regulators need to consider the quantity of water the energy industry uses, in addition to the quality.

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Landfill remediation
5:04 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Wyoming landfill legislation should improve water quality despite decades-long delay

The Wyoming Rural Water Association supports the state’s plan to limit water pollution caused by leaking landfills… But says it’s already taken too long to get started on the effort, and it could be a while before Wyoming sees significant improvements.

At a press conference last week, Governor Matt Mead reminded the public of two bills the legislature passed this session. They created a municipal solid waste landfill remediation program as well as an initiative to help sub-par landfills close and transfer new garbage to better facilities.

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News
3:26 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Encana needs to satisfy EPA's concerns before injecting into Madison aquifer

The Environmental Protection Agency is asking for more information from Encana Oil and Gas before signing off on the company’s request for an aquifer exemption. Encana wants to pump waste water into the Madison Aquifer from their oil and gas field in the Moneta Divide. The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has already approved the request, but the EPA says the modeling of the plume that Encana did is too broad and the agency wants more information about why, according to Encana, the relatively clean water can’t be used for other purposes .

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News
4:49 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

State engineer seeks input on handling apparent water shortage

The state engineer’s office says in parts of Laramie and Goshen Counties, demand for water appears to exceed supply.

State Engineer Pat Tyrrell says groundwater and surface water are connected in that area, so people who draw down the water in their wells are affecting water in streams, which means less water flows into the Hawk Spring Reservoir. He says there hasn’t been enough water to go around for quite some time.

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Groundwater Testing
4:55 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Groundwater testing could become a pre-drilling requirement

Credit FuelFix

Governor Matt Mead is considering requiring companies to test for groundwater contamination before drilling for oil or gas.

The new requirement would be part of the Mead’s energy strategy for the state. The goal is to make it easier to determine whether contaminated water was the result of energy production.

Jill Morrison with the Powder River Basin Resource Council says the proposed requirement is long overdue.

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News
7:57 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Environmental group calls for groundwater protection measures

The Powder River Basin Resource Council has drawn up a list of recommendations to protect groundwater resources during energy production.

The group’s Jill Morrison says they want the state to document how much water is available in aquifers, and to limit how much water can be used for oil and gas production in certain areas where water resources are scarce.

“Because we know, for example, in the Powder River Basin, we’ve really drawn down our main aquifer that supplies domestic use … through the coalbed methane development,” Morrison said.

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News
4:28 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

USGS releases raw data, but no analysis, about Pavillion groundwater

The U.S. Geological Survey has released new data about groundwater testing near Pavillion. The testing was meant to provide additional information about whether hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, caused water contamination there.

Keith Guille with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality says no one quite knows what the results mean yet, because the USGS only provided raw numbers, not analysis.

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