Pavillion, WY was one area featured in Buried Secrets: Is Natural Gas Drilling Endangering U.S. Water Supplies? That question just turned into a statement.
Below is a short report on the results from the initial testing done by EPA (CERCLIS ID# WYN000802735) in the Pavillion area, Fremont County, Wyoming.
Residents of Pavillion have been reporting odors, black water, and bad taste in their well water for several years. EnCana, who conducted previous testing in some of the impacted wells, along with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ), have continually assured Pavillion residents that there is no evidence of hydrocarbons or toxic chemicals in their drinking water wells, even though private tests results have shown contamination.
On Tuesday night, August 11, 2009, over 70 people listened to EPA explain what is contaminating 11 private drinking water wells in Pavillion, Wyoming. Initial results did not determine the source for hydrocarbons, methane, and at least 7 toxic chemical compounds found in the wells, but EPA said EnCana’s Pavillion gas field would be considered as a source during the continuing investigation. Maps, provided by EPA, showed impacted water wells clustered together in the most densely drilled part of the gas field.
Methane, ranging from 16.6 ppb to 558 ppb was present in wells, along with
heteropoly compounds (HPCs) HPC
Iron related, and sulfate reducing bacteria
Total Purgeable Hydrocarbons (TPH)
Note: See Phenol
Officials from the tribes on the Wind River Reservation, Senator Barraso’s offices, Representative Lumis’ office, the WDEQ, and the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) attended the meeting. Unfortunately no Wyoming state legislators or representation from the Governor’s office were in attendance.
EnCana representative, Randy Teewin, stated that the company does not believe any exploration or development conducted by them, in the Pavillion field, is responsible for the contamination.
Impacted water well owners experienced changes in their well water after EnCana increased the amount of wells drilled in the Pavillion/Muddy Ridge field and during completion and production of tight sands gas. All of the wells in the field have been completed using hydraulic fracturing. The gas wells are in very close proximity to impacted water wells and homes, causing residents to fear their health is being compromised by the development.
EPA will continue testing contaminated drinking water wells and drinking water wells, not previously tested, in the focus area. The next round of testing will begin to evaluate sources for the contamination. A full report of EPA test results has been released to impacted well owners, the Tribes, who own the majority of minerals in the field, WDEQ, EnCana, and will be available to the public, soon.
from an email
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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