Groundwater testing could become a pre-drilling requirement

Feb 5, 2013

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.

“When you have any kind of development that’s going to come into an area on an increased and large scale, you want to get all the baseline data you can, for the protection of the private property rights owners and the protection of our natural resources,” Morrison said.

John Robitaille with the Petroleum Association of Wyoming says some companies already do that kind of testing. But he says new testing requirements could be a burden on companies.

“It can be very expensive, depending on the number of constituents that you are looking for and testing for,” Robitaille said.

He says petroleum companies in the state have not yet said whether or not they support the proposed requirements.