Wyoming governor signs carbon bills

CHEYENNE — Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal signed two measures into law Tuesday that resolve ownership and regulation issues critical to the state’s effort to lead the way on developing technologies to capture carbon gas and other emissions from coal-fired power plants.

One of the bills signed by Freudenthal specifies that owners of the land surface also have underground storage rights. The other bill sets up a state regulatory framework for carbon sequestration projects. Both laws will take effect July 1.

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EPA OKs Mont. water standards, but lawsuit still looms

BILLINGS, Mont. – The federal government has approved strict new water quality standards sought by Montana over fears that natural gas drilling in neighboring Wyoming could pollute interstate rivers.

Montana officials said Monday that the new rules would protect farmers from poor-quality water produced during exploration for coal-bed methane, a type of natural gas. Over the last decade, that industry has boomed just over the state line in Wyoming.

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Casper Star-Tribune: BLM, industry should heed pollution warnings

Two significant signs of air pollution in southwest Wyoming are a call to action for the Bureau of Land Management and the energy industry.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s regional administrator, Robert E. Roberts, notified the BLM on Feb. 14 that a plan to allow nearly 4,400 new natural gas wells on the Pinedale Anticline needs to be revised. He cited increased ozone levels in recent years due to drilling activity, as well as other air quality concerns and groundwater contamination, as the reasons the EPA lowered its rating of the plan to “environmentally unsatisfactory.”

Last week, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality issued an unprecedented air pollution advisory for the Pinedale area due to high ozone levels. In 1995, tests indicated that the area had some of the cleanest air in the country. Now, the sparsely populated area is the subject of warnings typically associated with smog-ridden metropolitan areas.

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