GWPC Project Updates

GWPC Announces State Class V Committee

This Summer GWPC has convened a state Class V UIC Committee to guide GWPC's continued focus on helping state Class V programs address existing and emerging issues. Some of the topics the group may consider include:
  • Prioritization of Class V wells based on prevalence and risk
  • Motor vehicle disposal wells – though banned, some new ones are still constructed
  • Large capacity septic systems
The Class V Committee is a state-only group but will have the ability to invite participation from EPA, industry groups, and others as topics deem necessary.

The Board of Directors has assigned a leadership team (co-chairs) for the committee. The leadership team will hold a call soon and plans to schedule the first state-only call ahead of GWPC's Annual Forum in September. The Committee will also meet at the Annual Forum.

Federal News

EPA needs to improve oversight of fracing with diesel, OIG report says

(Penn Energy)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency needs to improve its oversight of hydraulic fracturing using diesel fuels and address any compliance issues, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said. The agency also needs to take further steps in its May 2014 plan to determine whether a federal requirement to publicly disclose frac fluid ingredients is necessary, OIG said in a July 16 report.

“Evidence shows that companies have used diesel fuels during hydraulic fracturing without EPA or state permits,” said Khadija Walker, a project manager in OIG’s Program Evaluation Office. “EPA also has not determined whether states and tribes are following the agency’s memorandum for issuing permits when hydraulic fracturing uses diesel fuels.” Full Story

Study Says Water Use in Fracing on the Rise

(Texas Tribune)

The amount of water used in the U.S. for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, increased by 28 times in the last 14 years, a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey found. The amounts varied by area, with more water being used in large formations such as the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas. You can review the report here.

State News

California Congresswoman Introduces Legislation to Accelerate Wastewater Recycling

(Storm Water Solutions)

Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06) introduced H.R. 2993, The Water Recycling Acceleration Act of 2015, which would greatly accelerate the authorization of wastewater recycling projects in California. Recycling would help alleviated water shortages during drought years and create flexibility in California’s water resources system.

“As California faces its fourth year of drought, a variety of sustainable approaches are needed to solve our state’s water resource challenges,” Matsui said. “This legislation will allow states with drought declarations to pursue wastewater recycling projects faster than the current federal process allows. If their project meets certain criteria, it would be eligible for funding from the Bureau of Reclamation. Waiting for Congress to vote to authorize each project simply does not work when we are facing the worst drought in generations.” Full Story

Corporation Commission responds to Oklahoma ongoing earthquake concerns - Commission adds 200-plus disposal wells to action list

(Bloomberg Business)

With the help a $200,000 grant from the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment at the direction of Governor Fallin, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission's Oil and Gas Conservation Division is taking action on more oil and gas wastewater disposal wells in response to induced seismicity concerns.

In March, the OGCD issued a directive covering more than 300 disposal wells that inject into the Arbuckle formation and are in "areas of interest," areas of seismicity which now include 21 of Oklahoma's 77 counties.

The latest OGCD directive expands the total size of the areas covered and applies to 211 more such wells. The Arbuckle is the state's deepest formation and encompasses most of the state. Under the latest directive, the operators of the wells will have until August 14 to prove they are not injecting below the Arbuckle. There is broad agreement among seismologists that disposal below the Arbuckle poses a potential risk of causing earthquakes, as it puts the well in communication with the "basement" rock. Full Story

TOPCORP Training Program Receives $125,000 Grant from Environmental Defense Fund

(Bloomberg Business)

TOPCORP is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) for the continued operation of their inspector training program. A grant in the amount of $125,000 has been received, with the funds to be used to ensure the TOPCORP training program remains available to inspectors at no cost to them or their agencies.

“One of our goals is to bring together a broad base of sponsors who will partner with us to bring the latest information on science, engineering and technology in oil and gas operations to field inspectors,” said Dr. Hilary Olson, director of the TOPCORP effort at The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. “My colleagues at Penn State and Colorado School of Mines and I join together in thanking the Environmental Defense Fund for assisting us in providing continuous regulatory improvement to agencies across the United States.” Full Story

Natural impurities exceed human-made ones in state groundwater, study finds

(Bloomberg Business)

A decade-long federal survey has concluded that natural contaminants are more prevalent than human-made contaminants in California groundwater aquifers used for public consumption.

The U.S. Geological Survey analysis of 11,000 public wells in 87 study areas determined that natural contaminants such as arsenic and uranium occur at high concentrations in about 20% of the groundwater used for public supply.

Human-made contaminants such as nitrate and organic solvents occur at high concentrations in about 5% of the resources. Full Story

Special Interest


Wastewater cleaning firm 'ready for takeoff' 

(Bloomberg Business)

A company started from technology generated at Los Alamos National Laboratory is poised to take its machines that clean water around the world.

The firm is called IX Power Clean Water and specializes in the design and manufacturing of portable and on-site machines for scrubbing and filtering the wastewater that is pulled from oil and gas wells.

The innovation comes at a time when the energy industry is generating trillions of gallons of contaminated water each year, some of it in California, Oklahoma, New Mexico and the Middle East, where drought and scarcity is taking its toll on groundwater. Full Story

Study: Where Does The Runoff Water Go When Not Reaching The Ocean? 

(The Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Bulletin)

More than a quarter of the rain and snow that falls on continents reaches the oceans as runoff.
A new study helps show where the rest goes: two-thirds of the remaining water is released by plants, more than a quarter lands on leaves and evaporates and what's left evaporates from soil and from lakes, rivers and streams.
"The question is, when rain falls on the landscape, where does it go?" says University of Utah geochemist Gabe Bowen, senior author of the study published today in the journal Science. "The water on the continents sustains all plant life, all agriculture, humans, aquatic ecosystems. But the breakdown - how much is used for those things - has always been unclear." Full Story

GWPC Staff Profile

TJ Groves

IT Manager

TJ primarily works on the FracFocus system by providing customer support to the user help desk, aiding in workplan management for upgrades to the system, reviewing updates to site security, and updating and maintaining documentation TJ also lends support on select RBDMS projects. 

Upcoming Events

GWPC Annual Forum
Oklahoma City, OK
September 27th-30th, 2015

Hotel information:
Courtyard by Marriott-Bricktown
Register Online

GWPC UIC Conference
Denver, CO
February 23-25, 2016

More information coming soon.
Check for more information and updates.
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