The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was put in the hot seat Friday as House lawmakers took the agency to task for its flawed reports on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), most notably the December 2011 report that found groundwater in Pavillion, WY, to be contaminated. That report was later retracted. And before directing any more funds to the EPA for reseach into fracking, the lawmakers demanded that the agency provide Congress with more information on their reseach activities so far.
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Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead last Friday announced new heads of the state’s environmental and treasury departments. Both new Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Director Todd Parfitt and Treasurer Mark Gordon hold key roles for the oil/gas industry in the state. In replacing DEQ Director John Corra, who retires Wednesday, Parfitt will be involved in issues touching everything from water quality to fossil fuels, said Mead, while thanking Corra for his nine years of heading DEQ. New Treasurer Gordon, who fills a vacancy created by the death of Joe Meyer Oct. 6, faces a state budget deficit of more than $30 million in the next two years, exacerbated by continuing low natural gas prices (see Daily GPI, Oct. 24).
Officials from North Dakota’s Health and Mineral Resources Departments were busy over the weekend as part of the clean up following a fatal oil well blowout that occurred last Tuesday night, spewing about 400 barrels of crude over surrounding agricultural fields. A health department environmental scientist was assessing the risks of contamination to crops and local water supplies, and the Department of Mineral and Resources coordinated the cordoning off and management of the site itself. New Mexico-based Black Hawk Energy Services was in the process of putting production pumping equipment into place at the partially completed well. One worker was killed when he was run over by a truck being relocated away from the well site. The Williams County Sheriff’s Office told local news media in Williston that the incident is still under investigation. Two parts of the well’s pre-production work had been done, but it was not ready to begin commercial production, state officials told local news media.
Although among the smaller, less-life threatening of Colorado’s wildfires so far this summer, the Pine Ridge fire along the Western Slope tested the gas industry with the shutting in of more than 100 wells in part of the Piceance Basin (see Shale Daily, July 9), but the response was effective and expected by the gas industry, according to Encana Corp.’s manager in charge on the ground, David Grisso.
In its final rule to eliminate harmful air pollution from oil and natural gas production announced Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted the industry a “reasonable” time to meet its requirements, extending the deadline for full compliance from 60 days to two and a half years.
The debate in New Brunswick over shale gas development in the emerging Frederick Brook Shale continued to escalate Thursday, with politicians on opposing sides of the issue trading barbs and setting the stage for a showdown this week in the Legislative Assembly.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with input from the departments of Interior and Energy, industry and the states, is expected “very shortly” to issue permitting guidance to oil and natural gas producers on the use of diesel in hydraulic fracturing (fracking), said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson last Tuesday.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with input from the departments of Interior and Energy, industry and the states, is expected “very shortly” to issue guidance to oil and natural gas producers on the use of diesel in hydraulic fracturing (fracking), said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Tuesday.
Using Wyoming’s approach as a model, a rarely convened panel in Idaho Tuesday adopted some temporary rules for hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas. The state’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, consisting of Idaho’s five statewide elected officials, including its governor, unanimously took its action that was prompted by natural gas drilling in a single county, Payette.
Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu were sworn in Wednesday at the White House as secretaries of the departments of Interior and Energy, respectively.