Posts Tagged ‘Water’

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday for the first time that fracking — a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells — may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution.

The draft finding could have significant implications while states try to determine how to regulate the process. Environmentalists characterized the report as a significant development though it met immediate criticism from the oil and gas industry and a U.S. senator.

The practice is called hydraulic fracturing and involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to open fissures and improve the flow of oil or gas to the surface.

The EPA found that compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals had been detected in the groundwater beneath Pavillion, a small community in central Wyoming where residents say their well water reeks of chemicals. Health officials last year advised them not to drink their water after the EPA found low levels hydrocarbons in their wells.

To Read More Click Here 

BY JACK Z. SMITH

FORT WORTH — Preliminary findings from a study of hydraulic fracturing and shale-gas development show no direct link between the controversial process and groundwater contamination, the University of Texas professor who led the study said Wednesday.

Problems in shale fields appear to be related to issues such as poor casing or cementing of wells, rather than fracking, UT geology professor Charles “Chip” Groat told about 150 people at the City Club in downtown Fort Worth. The audience included oil and gas industry representatives and city officials who regulate drilling in North Texas’ Barnett Shale.

The $300,000 study is being funded by UT’s Energy Institute. Groat said a final report is expected to be issued in the next two months. The institute looked at reports of groundwater contamination in the Barnett Shale, the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana and East Texas, and the Marcellus Shale in the Northeastern U.S.

Groat said a major goal of the study is to “separate fact from fiction” and produce accurate information that will help government policymakers adopt wise policies and regulations that “are grounded in science.”

He said the institute also plans an in-depth “case study” of the Barnett Shale, which would include water-related issues and other environmental concerns.

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Special Board Meeting

 November 7, 2011 at 1:00 p.m.

333 Guadalupe Street, Room 100 (tentative)

Austin, Texas 78701

AGENDA

  1. Call to order
  2. Roll call and certification of quorum
  3. Consideration and possible action on immediate withdrawal of the Board’s proposed rules 22 Texas Administrative Code §851.33 and §851.34 and the Board’s proposed amendment to 22 Texas Administrative Code §851.10
  4. Consideration and possible action on posting of a Board initiated Advisory Opinion concerning the re-affirmation of the exemption of exploration and development of oil, gas, or other energy resources described in Section 1002.252 of the Texas Geoscience Practice Act
  5. Public comment.  Limited to five (5) minutes per person who has signed up to speak using TBPG’s speaker request form (time may be extended at the discretion of the Board Chairman)
  6.  Adjournment

The Board  may meet in closed session on any agenda item listed above as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Gov. Code Chapter 551.

If you require auxiliary aids, services or material in an alternate format please contact the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists at least five working days prior to the meeting date.  Listed below is helpful information if assistance is required. Phone: (512) 936-4401, Fax: (512) 936-4409, email:  chorton@tbpg.state.tx.us, TDD/RELAY TEXAS: 1-800-relay-VV (for voice), 1-800-relay-TX (for TDD).

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists has proposed new rules that have been published in the Texas Register.  The Proposed Rules and Amendments were published in the September 30, 2011 edition of the Texas Register. Some of these proposed rules are  related to oil and gas community.  These rules have been under development by an Oil and Gas Workgroup for almost two years.  The intent of the publication of these rules is to garner constructive comments so that a wider discussion of the topic would be possible.  TAPG encourages all its members whether or not you practice in the oil and gas industry to read and provide comment on these rules.  If you have questions then please feel free to email TAPG at TAPG@Hal-pc.org.  I will do my best to find an answer or get an explanation.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted in writing to Charles Horton by mail to TBPG, PO Box 13225, Austin TX 78711; by fax to 512/936-4409; or by e-mail.  Please submit comments before October 31, 2011. If you would please send TAPG a copy of your comments as well.  Stay informed and check the TAPG Blog, https://tapg.wordpress.com/, and the website TAPGONLINE.ORG for more information.

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists have received a new request for advisory opinion.  The question is as follows:

Re:  Does any and all geoscientific work that is conducted through an academic institution or non-profit research institution or for-profit organization automatically qualify as “geoscientific research” for purposes of Texas Occupations Code §1002.252(4)?

The Draft Opinion:

No. Most work which is conducted for the purpose of influencing legislation, regulation, or for the benefit of the public, in addition to work which is supported by or in collaboration with private entities, requires a Professional Geoscientist taking responsible charge of a geoscientific report or a geoscientific portion of a report, in compliance with Texas Occupations Code §1002.251(c).

This was  published in the September 23 edition of the Texas Register.  We have 30 days from publication to comment.

Any interested person may submit written comments concerning this Advisory Opinion Request and Draft Opinion to:  Charles Horton, Executive Director, P. O. Box 13225, Austin, Texas78711, or by e-mail to chorton@tbpg.state.tx.us or by fax to (512) 936-4409.  Comments must be submitted no later than 30 days from the date of the posting in the Texas Register.  Please reference Advisory Opinion Request #6.

A long-awaited groundwater ownership bill was signed into law by Texas Governor Rick Perry on June 20. SB 332, by State Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) and State Rep. Allan Ritter (R-Nederland), clarifies that landowners own the groundwater below their land as real property.

Landowner groups across Texas worked alongside members of the Texas Legislature to ensure that SB 332 was passed and made law.

SB 332 states, “The legislature recognizes that a landowner owns the groundwater below the surface of the landowner’s land as real property.”

The bill goes on to say that landowners are entitled to drill for and produce the groundwater below the surface of real property. SB 332 reaffirms this landowner ownership, but still allows local groundwater conservation districts the ability to manage the groundwater.

SB 332 will go into effect on September 1.

To read more, visit www.ntxe-news.com/artman/publish/article_70289.shtml