Governor Matt Mead has asked for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cooperation in the scientific review and analysis of groundwater quality. Governor Mead's priority remains the health and safety of Wyoming residents and ensuring they have a long-term source of good drinking water. The EPA's testing identified contaminants in test wells outside of Pavillion, Wyoming.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Governor Mead highlighted professional expertise within Wyoming and urged a cooperative approach between the state and the EPA to best serve a scientific, credible inquiry. Governor Mead's letter brought up the need for more data and requested public hearings in Wyoming as part of the process.
"I hope we can work together to move the work surrounding Pavillion water to a more cooperative, logical and scientific approach," Governor Mead wrote. "The status, safety and the source of any contaminants to the water supply are issues I take seriously and I know you do too."
This letter comes after the EPA released a draft report that suggests a link between contamination of test wells with hydraulic fracturing. In the letter Governor Mead asks Administrator Jackson to get more samples from the test wells before a peer review process begins and asks that Wyoming be a partner in the testing and the peer review.
"I would like to see efforts based on a cooperative, fully science-based analysis that truly serves the interests of Wyoming's people, particularly citizens in the Pavillion area, Wyoming's resources and industries, and the public at large," Governor Mead wrote.
Governor Mead also asked that the EPA consider Wyoming's expertise when assembling the peer review, urged the EPA to hold any peer review panel public hearings in Wyoming and asked for a response to these questions:
· What is the specific charge to be given to the peer review panel?
· Will peer review panel member selection give deference to the unique geology and hydrology of the Wind River and Fort Union formations?
· Is it your expectation that peer review panel members develop one final consensus report; or rather do you anticipate five independent reports?
This letter was sent to Administrator Jackson today.