Pavillion Working Group Has New Issue To Address

Oct 11, 2012

A working group looking into groundwater contamination near Pavillion is still debating findings of contamination of water wells near the town. 

State officials are still studying the results of a U.S.  Geological Survey test and some possible conflicting information with an Environmental Protection Agency study. 

But it was also announced on Wednesday that notable levels of naphthalene , a semi volatile compound in the soil of pits on Encana’s natural gas field east of Pavillion.  State officials say it needs to modeled and studied further to determine if it is at concentrations high enough to have an impact on groundwater and require mitigation.

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Director John Corra says they will further investigate the contamination.

“The pits working group that you heard about is, that’s a group that’s looking at all of the mud pits and reserve pits that they use for drilling and how they were closed and if any of the materials that were stored in those pits when they were in use, could have gotten into the environment. So we are looking at pits, we are looking at drill holes and as you heard from the public we are looking at a couple of other things as well.”

Corra says the working group still has a number of questions to answer and will continue.

Meanwhile, an effort to get water to residents of Pavillion who’s groundwater is contaminated is moving forward.  Keith Clarey of the Wyoming Water Development Office told the Pavillion Working Group in Riverton that water tanks known as cisterns will be used to get residents clean drinking water.  Clarey says 20 residents will be provided aid.

“Getting together a $460,000 contract to the consulting engineer to install those cisterns starting in the spring/summer of 2013.  The Wyoming water development commission has approved the contract. The funding comes through the governor and legislature for a total of $750,000.”

The Legislature’s Select Water Committee is currently reviewing the documents.  Following the legislature’s approval, individual agreements will be drafted with the landowners before construction begins.