Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gas-lease cash to pay new inspectors of drilling sites


Agency says gas-lease cash to aid hiring of inspectors
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gas-lease money to hire inspectors

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is set to get $3.5 million from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission that it will use to hire more inspectors to keep watch on the state's growing natural gas drilling industry.
Teresa Marks, director of the Department of Environmental Quality, said Wednesday that while a formal agreement has yet to be signed, she is looking forward to using the money to hire new inspectors to regulate drill-water disposal sites.
The money will come from leases issued by the Game and Fish Commission to natural-gas firms to drill on state-wildlife management areas.
Drilling for natural gas in the Fayetteville Shale geologic formation has led to the creation of at least 13 drill-water disposal sites, which are permitted to store the water and rock sediment discarded during drilling. Two sites recently were ordered to cease operation until violations have been remedied.
The department currently has 17 inspectors who only visit the disposal sites in response to complaints. Eight inspectors are assigned to the Fayetteville Shale.
The Game and Fish Commission earns about $30 million annually on the land leases.

No comments: