November 12, 2013

Media Contacts:
Lauren Whittenberg, 512-691-3437, lwhittenberg@edf.org
Chris Merrill, 307-223-0071, chris@wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org

Expert Contacts:
Jon Goldstein, 505-603-8522, jgoldstein@edf.org
Amber Wilson, 307-332-7031, amber@wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org
Richard Garrett, 307-349-2423 richard@wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org

Groups Praise Governor Mead, Call the New Groundwater Testing Program a ‘Model for the Nation’

CASPER, WYO — The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, including Gov. Matt Mead, gave unanimous final approval on Tuesday to new statewide rules that will require oil and gas drillers to scientifically establish and monitor the quality of groundwater around sites prior to, during, and after oil and gas development.

Environmental Defense Fund and the Wyoming Outdoor Council applaud this action, which they say establishes a groundwater testing standard that is a model for the nation.

“Governor Mead, his appointees and staff have shown great leadership in this effort,” said Richard Garrett, energy policy analyst with the Wyoming Outdoor Council. “The governor is right — and just about everyone agrees — collecting baseline water quality data prior to drilling, and following up with post completion sampling, are necessary steps. This rule will help protect everyone: landowners, Wyoming citizens, and industry.”

Mead said he wants the rule to be implemented and enforced by March 1.

“Wyoming should be proud of this rule,” Jon Goldstein, EDF senior energy policy manager said. “It sets a new national standard for groundwater baseline testing and monitoring related to oil and gas activity. The open, inclusive approach the state took in formulating this proposal has led to a strong, scientifically valid groundwater testing program. This rule will give Wyoming residents important information about the quality of their water.”

Wyoming’s new rule will be applied statewide. It will require that companies use a “radial approach” to sampling wells (testing drinking water sources within a half mile radius of new oil and gas wells) without an artificial cap on the number of wells tested, and it includes a required Sampling and Analysis Protocol (SAP) to ensure that procedures and parameters are consistently implemented.

Wyoming’s proposed SAP is currently the most detailed guidance provided by any state regarding how private wells should be sampled, the groups say.


Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and our Energy Exchange Blog.

The Wyoming Outdoor Council (wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org) is Wyoming’s oldest independent conservation organization. The Wyoming Outdoor Council’s mission is to protect Wyoming’s environment and quality of life for future generations.



Background on Baseline Testing


Frontline, spring 2013, Wyoming Outdoor Council


“Collection of baseline water quality information prior to development is in everyone’s best interest. It will benefit the industry, the public, and the state.”

—Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead


Click here or on the image of the newsletter to read the Wyoming Outdoor Council’s spring 2013 Frontline.



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CST: Wyoming should be a role model and require baseline water testing

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