Best Management Practices
The Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment and its partners welcome you to this free-access website of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for oil and gas development in the Intermountain West. BMPs are state-of-the-art mitigation measures applied to oil and natural gas drilling and production to help ensure that energy development is conducted in an environmentally responsible manner (see the Bureau of Land Management BMP website).
of this website is a searchable database addressing surface resources
affected by oil and gas development. The database includes both
mandatory and voluntary Best Management Practices currently in use or recommended
for responsible resource management in the states of Colorado,
Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
BMP database is not intended to represent a consensus on what
the best practices are for specific applications nor to advise
users on the current legal requirements for specific locations.
Rather, the database describes each practice and documents the
source of the practice (who requires or recommends it in what
specific applications). The database provides a link to the source
of the BMP and, where possible, it provides supplemental information,
including construction specifications, illustrations, pictures,
maps, monitoring reports, and evaluations of the potential of
the practice for mitigating impacts of development. Because practices
change over time, database users should check with appropriate
authorities to verify the latest requirements and recommendations
for your area.
Training and Workshops
View our complete list of Workshops and our calendar of upcoming events.
There are currently no upcoming events/workshops. Please check back for updates.
We welcome requests for training in the use of the BMP Database.
To arrange a training or for help with a custom search, contact
For background information on oil and gas development issues,
click on RESOURCES or
• Air Quality
• Case Studies
• Coalbed Methane
• Comliance and Enforcement
• The Development Process
• Economics of BMPS
• Geographic Information Systems for Oil and Gas
• Hydraulic Fracturing
• Solid Waste
• Water Quality
• Water Quantity
Laws & Policy
Our federal, state, and local laws pages provide brief summaries of the laws, regulations, and agency policies and guidelines of particular importance to regulation of oil and gas development. They also provide links to the codes, regulations and to the agencies in charge of regulating the industry.
Check out our new comparative legal databases of water quality and water quantity statutes and regulations pertaining to oil and natural gas activities.
The Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems (EFD) program provides unbiased science to address environmental issues associated with oil and gas activities. The EFD program sponsors have been supporting our BMP effort.
The EFD Program is currently testing various technologies. Further information about the program may be found at: www.efdsystems.org. For a brief summary of EFD research, see the 2013 EFD Sponsors' Report.
The database includes BMPs to address a variety
of resources and issues...
What management practices are recommended or required for oil
and gas development? To find out, use the drop down menus or type
Keywords. For a more refined search, click "Advanced Search"
or use the BMP SEARCH button.
Search the Bibliography
Our searchable bibliography includes over 400 publications, including
environmental impact statements, agency guidelines, and many technical
reports, websites, and journal articles prepared by government
agencies, academics, environmental advocacy groups, and industry.
These publications are:
• Source Documents from which we have derived BMPs for the
• Supplemental Documents that provide more detailed descriptions
of specific BMPs or background information on oil and gas development
and its impacts (cited on our RESOURCES
You can browse the bibliography
alphabetically by title or search the
bibliography by words in the title, author or a brief annotation.
All document citations are linked to a full text .pdf copy or
an internet link.
To print search results, click the "File" button
on your web browser’s tool bar, then click "Print". Records obtained
from your Basic or Advanced search are automatically formatted
You can also copy and paste data into Excel if you are browsing
with Internet Explorer or into Zoho, if using Safari.
For help with composing your search or with exporting or printing
results, please contact us or
see our Help page.
The Intermountain BMP project recently released a comparative legal database for water quantity regulations pertaining to oil and gas development. High-volume hydraulic fracturing, as a new use of water; the amount of water consumed; and the timing of water usage has raised concerns in arid regions or areas experiencing water shortages. It must be noted, however, across the United States as a whole, the average amount of water used for hydraulic fracturing is minimal compared to traditional uses of water by municipalities and agriculture.
This dataset captures laws and regulations addressing the amount of water used in oil and gas development, including water administration systems, reporting requirements and disposal methods — all of which provide a more accurate picture of the life cycle of water use in the hydraulic fracturing process. Laws and regulations examined across the 13 states require those drilling to identify the physical source of water used for development, submit a water plan, and to identify the amount of water used during completion of the well, the amount of water that flows to the surface after hydraulic fracturing, and the volume of disposed water. The laws and regulations also address how surface and groundwater rights are obtained and whether the state distinguishes types of surface water and groundwater.
This is the second comparative legal database released by the Intermountain BMP project. The previous database covered water quality issues.
The Intermountain BMP Project is a work in progress. Currently,
the database includes BMPs for a variety of resources (see the
BMP Categories section) from a range of source documents (see
the Bibliography), including project Environmental Impact Statements,
Resource Management Plans, state wildlife agency guidelines, and
industry and conservation group reports and websites.
The structure and content of this website is being developed
in conjunction with project partners and advisors from government,
industry, the conservation community, academia and landowners.
For information on our current partners or to become a project
partner, see ABOUT US
Contributing to the BMP Database & Dialogue
To access or share information about a particular BMP
or a resource topic area, or to make suggestions on the database
or website, go to the ADD INFO
You can also contact us by email or telephone. Go to the ABOUT
US page for details.