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U.S. EPA Gives Lead to Wyoming in Pavillion Gas Migration Study

On Thursday, U.S. EPA announced that the State of Wyoming will lead further investigation of drinking water quality in Pavillion, Wyoming.  In 2009, EPA began working with the state and local tribes to investigate water quality in the Pavillion area in response to citizen reports of contaminated well water.  Sampling results have shown constituents of concern in the domestic water wells, but a source of the constituents has yet to be determined.  EPA released a draft report in 2011 indicating that the groundwater contains constituents likely associated with nearby gas production and hydraulic fracturing activity.  The agency no longer intends to finalize or rely on the draft report, as indicated in the following statement from EPA:

“While EPA stands behind its work and data, the agency recognizes the State of Wyoming’s commitment for further investigation and efforts to provide clean water and does not plan to finalize or seek peer review of its draft Pavillion groundwater report released in December, 2011. Nor does the agency plan to rely upon the conclusions in the draft report.”

EPA will continue to provide support for the investigation led by Wyoming officials.  EPA plans to now focus attention on its major hydraulic fracturing study, for which the agency expects to issue a draft report in late 2014.