Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Releases Draft Report Addressing Water Quality Issues in the Pavilion Area

On December 14, 2015, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) released a draft report examining issues of groundwater quality in the Pavillion area. The draft report is entitled “Pavillion, Wyoming area domestic water wells draft final report and palatability study.”

In 2008, Pavillion residents living close to gas production wells involving hydraulic fracturing expressed significant concerns over changes in the quality of their drinking water. From 2009 to 2011, U.S. EPA undertook field investigations and released in December 2001 a draft report considering the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on domestic water wells in the Pavillion area. In September 2013, EPA announced that it would not proceed further with the draft investigation report but that it would support the state of Wyoming in an ongoing investigation of Pavillion groundwater issues. The state of Wyoming commissioned the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to perform said investigation.

WDEQ concluded that “evidence does not indicate that hydraulic fracturing fluids have risen to shallow depths intersected by water-supply wells” but “suggests that upward gas seepage . . . was happening naturally before gas well development.”

More information on EPA’s prior actions is available at http://www.epa.gov/region8/pavillion

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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