In 2008, concerned residents of Pavillion, Wyoming contacted the EPA in regard to smells, tastes and adverse changes in the water quality of their domestic wells. In response to the community complaints about potential groundwater contamination, the EPA sampled wells in Pavillion beginning in March 2009. The sampled wells included residential wells, municipal wells, and also two monitoring wells that the EPA installed in Pavillion during the summer of 2010.
On December 14, 2011, the EPA released a draft report concluding that research of Pavillion, Wyoming groundwater contamination “supports an explanation that inorganic and organic constituents associated with hydraulic fracturing have contaminated groundwater at and below the depth used for domestic water supply.” Based on comments the EPA received on the draft report, the EPA extended the public comment period and delayed peer review in order to re-sample the two monitoring wells in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, the Tribes, and the State of Wyoming.
On June 11, 2013, the EPA announced that it would no longer continue its investigation of the potential groundwater contamination in Pavillion, and therefore, it would not finalize or seek peer review of its draft report from December 2011. The EPA agreed to support the State of Wyoming in its further investigation of the drinking water quality. Four years later, in December 2015, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality released a draft report on Pavillion, Wyoming, which found that the groundwater was not contaminated from hydraulic fracturing, but was contaminated naturally. In response, the EPA submitted a comment in March 2016 questioning study methods and conclusions.
This guide is intended to present a collection of legal resources relating to the potential groundwater contamination incident in Pavillion, Wyoming. While the Center for Agriculture and Shale Law makes every effort to maintain and update the content furnished in this guide, no warranty or other guarantee is made regarding the timeliness or accuracy of any information provided