As the state initiates its investigation of water quality issues in Pavillion, two state agencies plan to review existing data before deciding how to proceed. The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Department of Environmental Quality will look at the well bore integrity of about 50 oil and gas wells within a quarter mile of 14 domestic water wells that had at least one pollutant at levels above drinking water standards.
The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission says it hopes to file a report about well bore integrity in Pavillion by the end of the year.
The report will be part of a larger effort to figure out the causes of groundwater contamination in Pavillion. The study will include a total of about 50 oil and gas exploration and production wells located within a quarter mile of 14 domestic water wells.
Governor Matt Mead says he trusts the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to deliver trustworthy results when it takes over the Pavillion water contamination study from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A draft of the study initiated by the EPA was released in 2011 and tentatively linked groundwater contamination with fracking, something industry expressed skepticism about.
Mead says he’s not sure yet whether the state study will be peer reviewed once it’s completed.
Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov caught up with Governor Matt Mead to check in about some big changes in the state in the coming months. Her first question was about the Environmental Protection Agency’s report on contaminated water in Pavillion and the state’s takeover of the study.
Though the entities involved in the study have previously expressed skepticism over the EPA’s findings, Governor Mead says he has no doubts that the state’s study will be unbiased.
Wyoming’s Governor says the state will work hard to find out what contaminated water in Pavillion , and will develop a long term solution to the water woes for residents in the area.
Last month the E-P-A announced it was relinquishing its role in a study that had tentatively linked hydraulic fracturing with groundwater pollution. Landowners are upset with that the fact that the state will now handle the investigation. Governor Matt Mead says the E-P-A was taking too long.
Landowners in Wyoming are upset that the Environmental Protection Agency is relinquishing its role in a study that could link hydraulic fracturing with groundwater pollution.
The State of Wyoming is taking over an investigation of water quality in Pavillion, from the EPA. Encana Oil and Gas has natural gas wells in the area…and the EPA started testing water wells there after residents complained that the water was becoming polluted. The agency released a draft report in 2011, which tentatively linked the contamination to fracking.
‘Gasland 2’, a sequel to the 2010 documentary ‘Gasland,’ premiers this weekend in New York City. The original film focused on land owners alleging that oil and gas development on their land contaminated their water sources. The movie is thought to have brought the terms ‘fracking’ into the mainstream. The films’ director, Josh Fox, says the sequel investigates how government and regulatory agencies have dealt with what affected land owners say is contamination by industry.
Last week, the U-S Geological Survey released testing it did on water wells near the town of Pavillion.
Governor Matt Mead says the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is still reviewing the data and he’s not prepared to comment until he reads their analysis. The Environmental Protection Agency did follow-up testing as well and should release those results soon.
Earlier the E-P-A suggested fracking may have contaminated area water wells. The Governor says if it turns out that the E-P-A results are confirmed, the state will address it.
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.
HOST: In December, the Environmental Protection Agency released a draft report tentatively linking water contamination in the town of Pavillion to hydraulic fracturing activities in the area. The release of the draft report caused a spectacle, and state, federal and tribal agencies have now caught in a bureaucratic holding pattern, while residents affected by contaminated water wait in a form of investigative limbo. Wyoming Public Radio’s Tristan Ahtone attended a recent Pavillion Work Group meeting to get updates on the investigation.
Residents in the town of Pavillion will soon be able to receive water cistern systems. A cistern is a water holding tank. Pavillion is at the center of an ongoing Environmental Protection Agency investigation on whether hydraulic fracturing has contaminated the towns drinking water.
Wyoming plans to install water cisterns at the homes of residents in the Pavillion area’s natural gas field. An EPA draft report suggests contaminants in area wells are connected to hydraulic fracturing, but state officials say the cause of the contamination is unknown.
As testing continues on whether fracking contaminated groundwater in the Pavillion area, Governor Matt Mead and state officials will host a meeting next week on a new way to get fresh water to citizens.
Mead says they are considering a cistern system where each resident would have a water tank to hold their water supply. Water for the tanks would be trucked from Riverton or Lander. One issue is how to pay for it. Governor Mead says the Environmental Protection Agency is not set up to help pay for such a project and getting the gas company Encana to pay is a bit tricky.
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.
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.
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.
With problems over water contamination in the town of Pavillion, and possible actions to remediate a contaminated uranium site on the Wind River Reservation, tribal officials have pushed to be the lead agency in both situations, as the areas impacted are within the boundaries of the reservation and impact tribal trust assets.
The Wyoming Senate has approved adding 750-thousand dollars for a water system to help residents of Pavillion whose water may be contaminated. The E-P-A has indicated that a number of residents should not drink water from their wells do to high levels of contaminants.
Senator Eli Bebout asked for the funding in the omnibus water bill, but senator Charles Scott questioned why the State needs to pay for the water and wondered how bad it really was.
Bebout said that for some, the water is a problem.
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.
Members of the U.S. House Energy and Environment Subcommittee slammed the Environmental Protection Agency during a hearing about the agency’s ground water research in the town of Pavillion.
The Energy and Environment Subcommittee hearing got off to a late start after “Gasland” filmmaker Josh Fox was arrested for trying to film the proceedings. Fox has spent considerable time in Pavillion documenting water contamination that may be associated with hydraulic fracturing. An ABC News crew was denied entrance to the hearing.
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.”
The Environmental Protection Agency announced it is extending the public comment period on the draft Pavillion ground water investigation to March 12. It's an attempt to allow all stakeholders and the public additional time to review the report and its related documents. On Tuesday, the EPA invited the public to nominate scientific experts to be peer reviewers of the draft report. Nominations will be accepted through February 17th. In December, Gov.
Encana Oil and Gas says the Environmental Protection Agency is moving too fast with its draft analysis of ground water contamination in the town of Pavillion, and has asked the EPA to suspend the public comment period.
In a letter dated January 6th, Encana oil and gas asked the EPA to suspend the public comment period until the agency’s plans were better explained and additional critical data could be disseminated.
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.