BMP of Oil and Gas Development

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).

The focus 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.

Oil & Gas Drilling BMP

The 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 us!


For background information on oil and gas development issues, click on RESOURCES or go to:

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.

CBM Fields

EFD Program

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: For a brief summary of EFD research, see the 2013 EFD Sponsors' Report.

BMP Categories

The database includes BMPs to address a variety of resources and issues...


BMP Search

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 database, and
• 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 pages.)

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 for printing.

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.

What's New

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.

Oil & Gas BMP, Western State, US

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 page.

You can also contact us by email or telephone. Go to the ABOUT US page for details.

Intermountain Oil & Gas