The court ruling is here.
“An attempt by the Obama administration to impose harsh regulations on fracking operations on public land has been thrown out by a Wyoming court, on the grounds that the Interior Department exceeded the bounds of its Congressional authority.” click here
Efforts continue to find a smoking gun in Pavillion, Wyoming as ammunition against hydraulic fracturing. Everyone is working from the same data and observations. The assumptions of the interpreter behind the analysis drive the conclusion.
DiGiulio DC, Jackson RB. Impact to Underground Sources of Drinking Water and Domestic Wells from Production Well Stimulation and Completion Practices in the Pavillion, Wyoming, Field. Environmental Science and Technology. 2016 Mar 29.
A comprehensive analysis of all publicly available data and reports was conducted to evaluate impact to Underground Sources of Drinking Water (USDWs) as a result of acid stimulation and hydraulic fracturing in the Pavillion, WY, Field. Although injection of stimulation fluids into USDWs in the Pavillion Field was documented by EPA, potential impact to USDWs at the depths of stimulation as a result of this activity was not previously evaluated. Concentrations of major ions in produced water samples outside expected levels in the Wind River Formation, leak off of stimulation fluids into formation media, and likely loss of zonal isolation during stimulation at several production wells, indicates that impact to USDWs has occurred. Detection of organic compounds used for well stimulation in samples from two monitoring wells installed by EPA, plus anomalies in major ion concentrations in water from one of these monitoring wells, provide additional evidence of impact to USDWs and indicate upward solute migration to depths of current groundwater use. Detections of diesel range organics and other organic compounds in domestic wells.
Stephens DB. Analysis of the Groundwater Monitoring Controversy at the Pavillion, Wyoming Natural Gas Field. Ground Water. 2014 Sep 17. doi: 10.1111/gwat.12272.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was contacted by citizens of Pavillion, Wyoming 6 years ago regarding taste and odor in their water wells in an area where hydraulic fracturing operations were occurring. EPA conducted a field investigation, including drilling two deep monitor wells, and concluded in a draft report that constituents associated with hydraulic fracturing had impacted the drinking water aquifer. Following extensive media coverage, pressure from state and other federal agencies, and extensive technical criticism from industry, EPA stated the draft report would not undergo peer review, that it would not rely on the conclusions, and that it had relinquished its lead role in the investigation to the State of Wyoming for further investigation without resolving the source of the taste and odor problem. Review of the events leading up to EPA’s decision suggests that much of the criticism could have been avoided through improved preproject planning with clear objectives. Such planning would have identified the high national significance and potential implications of the proposed work. Expanded stakeholder involvement and technical input could have eliminated some of the difficulties that plagued the investigation. However, collecting baseline groundwater quality data prior to initiating hydraulic fracturing likely would have been an effective way to evaluate potential impacts. The Pavillion groundwater investigation provides an excellent opportunity for improving field methods, report transparency, clarity of communication, and the peer review process in future investigations of the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on groundwater.
The Wyoming governor has asked the Interior Department for more time to study its proposed rules for the use of hydraulic fracturing on federal land. This request for an extension joins separate requests sent by a state industry group, county commissioners and a key committee of state legislators.
Governor Mead has questioned the need for the rule due to its similarities with Wyoming’s first-in-the-nation rules for fracking in effect since 2010.
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An interesting note (click here), that few Pavillion residents are opting for the free cistern from the state. Gosh, if they are really concerned about their drinking water, convinced that it is polluted by oil and gas activity, then why not go for the free cistern? (Or, was their water not contaminated at all to begin with?)
The state of Wyoming has offered 35 homes in rural Pavillion the option of receiving a free cistern to ensure they have clean drinking and household water.
Click here for the news article…..
The Wyoming Senate advanced a proposal to build a $750,000 water cistern system for households near Pavillion. Cistern systems would be constructed for Pavillion-area residents in need of clean water, as well as a water-loading station. Where the water would come from, and which residents would qualify for the program must still be determined. Click here for news article.