Groundwater contamination investivation continues

Sep 1, 2011

State regulators are still working to determine the extent of water contamination in the Fremont County town of Pavillion.

After determining that 41 wells have been contaminated either from gas development or local geology, officials have been trying to determine the integrity of area water wells, as well as whether there is contamination from drill pits. So far, studies have not yielded anything conclusive.

Wyoming Oil and Gas Commission Director Tom Doll says it is a complicated issue that could have been caused by geology, past or current oil and gas development or both. Doll says further information is needed to develop a long range plan, but he says that could come by the end of the year

"Some of this may require additional funding and some of it may beyond what the current operator is liable for. Those decisions will be made and a report will be put out and EPA will continue their sampling and monitoring."

Doll says he wishes some better baseline analysis had been done before drilling in the area occurred. He says they are asking for that data as new oil and gas development occurs in eastern and southeastern Wyoming in an effort to avoid similar problems elsewhere.