Wyoming Senate shoots down coal bed methane water bill

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) A bill that would have allowed greater state regulation of water discharged from coal bed methane wells died in the Wyoming State Senate on Monday after what some senators said was a stiff lobbying effort by the energy industry to kill the bill.

The bill, Senate File 46, would have limited the quality of water discharged from CBM gas wells to the natural capacity of streambeds that carry the natural flow of water in the area.

The bill also would have allowed landowners concerned about CBM water flowing over their lands to contact the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office to require construction of ditches or similar structures to control the flow.

State officials have said the industry pumps about 600 million barrels of water from coal aquifers in the Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming every year. Some of the water is used in irrigation and to water livestock, but a majority of the water is not put to a specific beneficial use.

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