Governor Matt Mead and other members of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission heard details on a baseline water testing proposal today. The proposal addresses water testing before, during and after oil and gas projects. Baseline water testing is a key initiative in the recently released Wyoming Energy Strategy.
"Collecting baseline water data is a necessary step both supporting important energy development and protecting a vital resource -- our water," Governor Mead said. "Wyoming will be among the first states in the country to require baseline water testing and we want to do it well. I look forward to hearing from landowners and energy companies about this draft. I hope this draft will move as expeditiously as possible through a period of informal comments and through the rulemaking process."
Today, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (OGCC) asked that the draft move to an informal public comment period. These comments will be considered in arriving at the formal proposed rule, which the OGCC will hear at a later hearing.
The draft, subject to the informal comment period, would require operators to sample existing water sources around a proposed oil or natural gas well. The landowner must give consent for operators to sample the permitted or adjudicated water sources. These include domestic, stock, industrial, irrigation, municipal or other permitted uses of water. The first sampling would occur before a well is drilled and ongoing sampling would occur over the life of the well.