Drilling industry ignores history, tries to overturn toxic pit rule
By Alan Septoff
January 28, 2010
Yesterday, New Mexico state legislator Thomas Taylor -- acting on behalf of the oil & gas drilling industry -- introduced a bill that would rescind the hard-won regulations protecting water and public health from toxic oil and gas waste pits.
The 2008 rules require lining all oil & gas waste pits. They also prohibit waste pits entirely when groundwater is within 50 feet of the surface.
"Closed-loop" or "pitless" systems actually save drillers money -- on the order of 3% per well -- according to testimony before the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission.
Hopefully the New Mexico legislature hasn't forgotten its responsibility to its citizens and their health, or the drilling industry's history of contaminated groundwater.
If not, this bill will die and quick and well-deserved death.
For more information:
- EARTHWORKS' Gwen Lachelt on the importance of the rules now under attack
- Text of HB 192, Taylor's bill to rescind the public health/groundwater protections