NITRATE RULE SETBACK
In a disappointing move, the Teton District Board of Health declined to adopt a proposed rule that would alert residents when increasing levels of harmful nitrates are detected in drinking water. The rule, drafted by the Wyoming Outdoor Council and Protect Our Water Jackson Hole, would have required the county health department to notify the public when elevated levels of nitrates are detected in any of the county’s 114 public water systems and investigate the source of the pollution.
While this is an unfortunate delay, the residents of Teton County have made it clear that clean, safe drinking water should be a priority in their community. Together with our partners, the Outdoor Council will continue working with county officials to enact this important safeguard.
OIL AND GAS LEASING
In late January, the Biden administration announced an executive order pausing new oil and gas leasing on public lands so the Department of the Interior can conduct a “rigorous review of all existing leasing and permitting practices related to fossil fuel development on public lands and waters.”
The oil and gas industry is an important part of Wyoming’s economy and, when done properly, development has a place on our public lands. However, the federal leasing program is decades out of date. We’ll continue to push for common-sense leasing reforms that will place the many other uses and values of our public lands (like wildlife habitat, historic cultural sites, and outdoor recreation) on equal footing with development, while also ensuring a fair return for taxpayers. Importantly, we want to see an end to noncompetitive “over-the-counter” leases as well as leasing of lands with low potential for producing oil and gas.