Hearing continues on changes to pit rule

Santa Fe New Mexicanrancher Irvin Boyd has made his living off the oil and gas industry for three decades, supervising pipeline construction. He thinks New Mexico's pit rule is a good thing for ranchers, industry and the environment. The 4-year-old rule governs the disposal of oil and gas well drilling and production wastes. Under the rule, most of the waste now must be removed and taken to a permitted disposal site. "There was a lot of work and planning that went into that rule on the part of industry, the environmental community, the ranching and farming community and nonprofit groups," Boyd said. "It is not 100 percent for anybody, but I believe that it is good." Some in the oil and gas industry have problems with it. The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico requested revisions of the rule from the Oil Conservation Commission. The hearing was conducted for four days in May. It continues beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday for at least another three days of testimony and comments. The pit rule grew out of concerns that thousands of old, unlined drilling waste pits, below-grade tanks and even newer lined pits were leaching contaminants, salts and chemicals onto soil and into water. Read More News New Mexico



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