Casper, WY – Attorney General Pat Crank says the state's
courts lack authority to order Governor Freudenthal to regulate volumes of water discharged by coal-bed methane wells. Freudenthal in April decided NOT to approve the water volume rules developed by the state Environmental Quality Council. That prompted a lawsuit from an environmental group, the Powder River
Basin Resource Council. Crank has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the
courts lack jurisdiction. The Powder River Basin Resource Council claims that Freudenthal has killed a process to enforce existing law. The group contends
that the state Department of Environmental Quality is required to regulate water quantities when those quantities directly affect water quality. The groundwater is a byproduct of coal-bed methane drilling. It is pumped off coal seams to release pressure on methane that is dissolved in the water.