WY Oil and Gas Conservation Commission prepares to draft rules for baseline groundwater testing

May 15, 2013

Credit The University of Wisconsin

Wyoming’s new energy policy places a central focus on requiring oil and gas developers to conduct baseline groundwater testing, and the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has been tasked with drafting the new rules for the testing.

 The Gov. Matt Mead’s Natural Resource Policy Advisor, Jerimiah Rieman, told the legislature’s Joint Minerals Committee today that the initiative is like a cheap insurance policy for industry.

The Wyoming Farm Bureau’s Ken Hamilton said landowners will be looking at sampling procedures very carefully when the draft of the rule is released.
  “In a sampling procedure I mentioned the time of travel, and any aquifer that gets recharged you need to measure that time of travel or have a good idea about that. Because sometimes you can put a contaminant in an aquifer and it might take up to maybe two or three years before that water will actually travel to where the sampling source is.”

 The number and frequency of samples to be collected, public disclosure of results, and distance from well pads are being considered for the rules. A draft of the rules should be presented at the June meeting of the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.