Action reminder: Montana Board of Oil and Gas hearing on Monday, September 17

This is a reminder that the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC) will be holding a public hearing on its proposed new rules for fracking chemical disclosure. Quite simply, these proposed rules are not strong enough to adequately protect landowners and it is important for you to lend your voice to make sure landowners’ opinions are clearly heard.

You can make your voice heard in either of two ways:

  • The most effective way is always to be there in person. You can do this by attending the BOGC hearing on September 17 at 2pm at 2535 St. Johns Avenue in Billings. Please come if you can.
  • You can also submit written comments via email through September 24 to mtogpub@mt.gov. Reference Hydraulic Fracturing Rulemaking in the subject line.

To get background read my previous post.

My comments
Here are the comments I submitted today. Feel free to borrow as you see fit:

To the Members of the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation:

Please accept the following comments concerning the Board’s proposed revisions to its hydraulic fracturing rules.

As a surface owner in Stillwater County, these rules do not move the needle for me. Like the previous rules, they continue to trade my right to protect my water, land, and property for the oil and gas industry’s convenience. From a surface owner’s point of view, you may as well have made no changes at all.

The reason I want chemical disclosure prior to fracking is so I can perform baseline testing on my water. Without baseline testing I will have no legal recourse if the water is contaminated during fracking.

The legal standard for baseline testing is exacting. It needs to be done by a professionally qualified third party. It must adhere to standards for container origin, integrity, post-sample sealing, labeling, and any required agitation and refrigeration.

If I don’t know the chemicals to be used in fracking at least 45 days in advance, I can’t get that done, plain and simple. This rule does not provide that advance notice. Because of that, it is of no value to me.

Operators could give 45 days notice if they were required to do so. I understand that they feel it is inconvenient.

You apparently have decided that their convenience is more important than my right to protect my property.

I disagree. You can do better.

David Katz
Nye

The Board of Oil and Gas Conservation not acting. Photo: Casey Page, Billings Gazette

About davidjkatz

The Moses family has lived on the Stillwater River since 1974, when George and Lucile Moses retired and moved to the Beehive from the Twin Cities. They’re gone now, but their four daughters (pictured at left, on the Beehive) and their families continue to spend time there, and have grown to love the area. This blog started as an email chain to keep the family informed about the threat of increased fracking activity in the area, but the desire to inform and get involved led to the creation of this blog.
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