There’s a fight brewing in Wyoming over the rights of landowners who don’t own the minerals below their properties. In 2005, the legislature passed a Split Estate law, but now, one lawmaker is saying it may be time to revisit the issue, in light of changes in drilling technology and intensity.
Senator Jim Anderson introduced a bill this week that would increase bonding on split-estate properties. Wyoming Public Radio energy reporter Stephanie Joyce joins us to discuss the bill, and its implications.
We’ve reported often on the effects that energy production can have on air quality. The most obvious example is Pinedale, where federal ambient air quality standards were violated, largely because of emissions from natural gas production. Regulators say the air elsewhere in the state is fine. But some worry that Wyoming doesn’t have a sufficient monitoring network to know for sure. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
The head of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission says his agency will consider changing setback rules. Those are the rules that govern how far away oil and gas operations, such as wells, have to be from things like houses.
Grant Black spoke at a public meeting in Douglas last night. He says currently, the setback rule is the same, regardless of whether you’re dealing with a home or something else. But he says that could change.
The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has decided to keep an air quality monitor in Converse County for another year.
DEQ placed a mobile monitor near Douglas after residents voiced concerns about emissions from new energy development in the area. So far, there’s no indication that air quality standards have been violated, but there were several days with high pollution levels.
Typically, DEQ moves their mobile air quality monitors to new locations each year, but the agency’s Cara Keslar says they want to keep a close eye on this area.
Frustrated landowners in Converse County sat down last week with a company that’s proposing to build a natural gas processing facility outside of Douglas to discuss alternative locations for the plant.
Crestwood Midstream Access’ plant would be situated in a largely agricultural area, and nearby ranchers have protested, saying it would be better to group it with existing industrial development.
But there are no land use regulations in Converse County, so rancher Art Nicholas proposed a trade: a parcel of his land south of the city in exchange for the site.
The Department of Environmental Quality says it’s not clear whether they will continue monitoring air quality in Converse County after this year.
DEQ began the monitoring about a year ago, because of public concern about emissions from oil and gas development. So far, their data does not indicate any violations of air quality standards but there have been several days with high pollution levels. The agency’s Cara Keslar says they’ll probably move the monitoring station to another location after they’ve collected a full year of data.
Converse County is seeing an increasing amount of energy development, and some residents worry that air quality could suffer as a result. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and researchers from the University of Wyoming are now monitoring air quality in the area.
On the whole, they’ve found that the air is pretty clean. But they’ve also documented times when pollution levels have spiked. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
Converse County is one of six counties in Wyoming with no land use regulations. When a proposal to develop zoning came up a decade ago, it went nowhere. But as development associated with the oil and gas boom in the Niobrara explodes, the county is struggling with questions of how to make sure it happens responsibly. And as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, some residents are starting to question the costs of not planning.
In October, we reported that Chesapeake Energy had drilled a series of oil wells near Douglas, very close to people’s houses. Chesapeake says the area will likely continue to be a core drilling region. That has some area residents uneasy. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.
For the last 80 years, Eastern Wyoming College’s satellite campus in Douglas was located in a former elementary school. President Tom Armstrong of Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington says it served proudly, but has worn out. He says the effort to secure funding for a new 30,000 square-foot building was five years in the making. And with voter approval of a temporary one-cent tax to fund construction this November, he says the College will soon be able to serve many more students.