The state of Wyoming announced on June 20 that it will further investigate drinking-water quality in areas east of Pavillion, Wyo. With this announcement the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ended its study and withdrew its draft report.

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will lead the scientific investigation to address water quality concerns by evaluating the water quality of selected domestic water wells, the integrity of certain oil and gas wells and historic pits in the Pavillion area.

EPA had received significant criticism of its water sampling procedures and inadequately documented conclusions contained in its draft report issued December 2011.

Since the initial reports of objectionable taste and odor in drinking water wells near Pavillion, the state of Wyoming has taken steps to improve drinking water quality:

  • Wyoming has initiated a process for establishing a uniform regulation for the collection of baseline water quality data prior to and after oil and natural gas development.
  • The state of Wyoming appropriated funds for the design, construction and installation of residential cistern systems and a water loading station at the Town of Pavillion. These should be completed this year.
  • Encana Oil and Gas (USA) Inc. gave a grant to the Wyoming Natural Resource Foundation for activities that support and protect rural water supplies. Encana is the operator of the Pavillion field wells near the suspect water wells.

For timely information about news important to the petroleum community, please follow the GEO-DC Twitter account, @EdieAllisonAAPG.

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