Wyoming Gov. Mead: Wait for analysis of Pavillion data

Wyoming Gov. Mead: Wait for analysis of Pavillion data by Adam Voge, Octobert 2, 2012, Star-Tribune
The state may have to examine its hydraulic fracturing rules if testing in the Pavillion area shows the oil and gas production technique contaminated groundwater there, Gov. Matt Mead said Tuesday. State officials are awaiting an in-depth analysis of data from test wells in the Pavillion field released last week. Mead speculated Tuesday about what would happen if the analysis supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s draft report last year that tentatively implicated fracking. “In the event they go through these and say the EPA may have had it right, we have to figure out what to do as a state,” he said in a Tuesday press conference. Mead said the state could analyze whether Wyoming’s first-in-the-nation rules for fracking, enacted after the technique was used in the Pavillion natural gas field, would have protected nearby wells. “Would the rules now have prevented what happened? We’ll look at that and whatever we need to do,” he said. “If that’s the case, we’ll make sure rules and regulations are adequate. If not, we’ll make those changes.”

Critics of the EPA’s draft report released in December said the information hadn’t been properly peer-reviewed. Encana called the study “rushed,” and Mead pledged funding for additional testing. The U.S. Geological Survey conducted additional tests in April and released the results last week. The agency released the highly technical data — essentially a table of test results — with no analysis. …. Doug Hock, spokesman for Encana Oil and Gas, agreed with Mead’s sentiment about whether the second well should be tested. He added in an email Tuesday that the newest data offered “nothing surprising.” “First, the USGS results provide no evidence that hydraulic fracturing has created impacts to groundwater,” he wrote. “Furthermore and more importantly, EPA has provided no sound scientific evidence that drilling has impacted domestic drinking water wells in the area.” …  Fenton said waiting for answers has been the worst part of the ordeal. “In the meantime, a lot of people sitting here are really concerned about what’s happening to their health and their future,” he said. “That’s the hardest.” [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to: Restrict shale gas fracking to 600m from water supplies, says study ]

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