Industry, Watchdog Groups: Water Wells Should Be Tested Before Fracking

The oil and gas industry and energy industry watchdog groups have their differences on a number of energy-related topics. However, one thing both sides agree on, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican, is that well owners should have their water quality tested before drilling ever begins in the area.

Their reasons for why water testing is important could not be more different, though.

New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) spokesperson Wally Drangmeister told the Sante Fe New Mexican that establishing a baseline for water quality would protect the industry.

“We have an excellent record of safety in the protection of water,” Drangmeister said.

The industry trade organization recently began a campaign that encourages the industry to voluntarily work with well owners to have their water tested, noting that establishing a baseline is necessary before drilling begins.

Kathleen Dudley, a Drilling Mora County energy industry watchdog, told the Sante Fe New Mexican that she believes that well owners should take the responsibility of having their wells tested themselves, but she agreed that establishing a baseline of the quality of the well water is important.

“If a homeowner does not know the quality of water before any industrial activity occurs, they have no baseline by which they can make industry accountable,” she said, adding that under the 2005 Energy Bill, the oil and gas industry is not accountable for the quality of the water.


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