By The Associated Press | January 21, 2020 08:10:00As the U.S. and China build a new pipeline to bring oil and gas from the Arctic to Asia, a growing number of states are seeking to fix leaks.
A growing number are also worried that the new pipeline will damage aquifers.
At least nine states have issued plans for how to fix leaky aquifes, with a few more considering them mandatory requirements for drilling, drilling permits, or a combination of both.
States that already require drilling permits include Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
States that are considering mandatory permits include Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah and Wyoming.
Some are calling for a mandatory leak control plan that would include the ability to enforce the regulations in the event of a leak.
Others say the leak control will have to wait for another time, but say the state can’t afford to wait and that it should be part of a statewide plan.
Bill Owens has proposed a plan to regulate aquifments, including requiring companies to report spills.
Owens said in a statement that the plan is based on the science of aquifering and that the federal government’s decision on the proposed pipeline has no bearing on whether states can enforce regulations.
Colorado’s Department of Environmental Quality has proposed rules that would allow drilling operators to report leaks and for regulators to enforce them, and Owens has also said that the state would issue drilling permits.
The state’s Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation have proposed rules, and Colorado officials have proposed regulations.
The states are planning to issue drilling permit applications for drilling in Alaska, the nation’s second-largest oil and natural gas producing state.
California has also proposed rules to regulate drilling and drilling waste disposal.
But California regulators have yet to propose rules governing leaking aquifents.
The Colorado Department of Water Resources said last week it had begun issuing drilling permits to companies interested in leasing water in the state.
The state expects to begin issuing drilling licenses in early 2020.
The United States has a huge aquifer that stretches more than 2,000 miles from Alaska through the Colorado Plateau to Utah, which supplies about 30 percent of the country’s drinking water.
California has the largest aquifer in the world.