Back to the Drawing Well: EPA Calls for Further Sampling of Pavillion, WY Monitoring Wells

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In December 2011 came the controversial draft report on ground water contamination near Pavillion, Wyoming.  Responding to complaints of “objectionable taste and odor problems” in area well water, the EPA launched an investigation of Pavillion’s water quality. Many of the town’s private wells overlie the Pavillion gas field, on which 169 production wells extract gas using hydraulic fracturing.

The draft report indicated “that ground water in the aquifer contains compounds likely associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing,” according to the initial EPA press release.

Encana Oil & Gas, Inc., which owns the Pavillion gas fields, strongly “refuted” the report.

Therefore, it was with much joy that the company received news of the EPA’s decision – announced yesterday – to perform further sampling of the deep monitoring wells drilled for the groundwater study. This time, the EPA will call in the United States Geological Survey to take new samples and “clarify questions about the initial monitoring results.”

For more on the investigation, visit the EPA’s Pavillion web page, or consider setting up a Knowledge Mosaic Alert for “Pavillion WY” on our Laws, Rules, and Agency Materials page. This alert will catch any subsequent EPA press releases or Federal Register documents related to the investigation.

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