section offers an overview of the oil and gas extraction processes
including exploration, well development, production, and site
abandonment with links to resources regarding legal and regulatory
processes, technical descriptions, and virtual tours of well sites.
Information Systems (GIS) are used to analyze and display geospatial
data and are powerful tools when examining the potential impacts
of oil and gas development on local resources, such as water,
vegetation, and wildlife.
This section describes the basics of
GIS and provides links to sample maps, interactive web-mapping
applications, downloadable GIS data, and free/open source GIS
section provides communities in Colorado, Utah, Montana, New Mexico,
and Wyoming with several links to guides from government agencies,
non-profit organizations and resource councils when planning for
the potential impacts of oil and gas development. Mediation and
facilitation resources, leasing information, regulatory bodies
and relevant regulations are a few of the many resources offered
to communities with oil and gas development.
This section provides an overview of reclamation
goals, links to regulatory bodies, contact information to regulatory
authorities and resource documents explaining various methods
implemented in the reclamation process.
Almost half of the waste produced during drilling is solid waste, which must be disposed of in accordance with various laws and regulations of federal, state and local governments. This section addressed the four-step solid waste minimization hierarchy — source reduction, recycling/reuse, treatment, and disposal — as well as the different regulatory agencies and criteria for managing solid waste.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America reports that over 90% of vertical and horizontal oil and gas wells nationwide now require some form of hydraulic fracturing. This section introduces the process of hydraulic fracturing as well as some of the controversies surrounding the process, and discusses the laws and regulations that are directly related to hydraulic fracturing.
Pictures Courtesy Of:
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Land Management Montana
Bureau of Land Management Wyoming
Houston Advanced Research Center
Scott Environmental Services, Inc.
U.S. Forest Service
section discusses the impacts of oil and gas development on air
quality, and provides links to information on issues such as flaring,
venting, methane production, and fugitive emissions. Additional
information from state and federal agencies on air quality standards
and monitoring is available, along with reports from non-profit
organizations and regional air partnerships regarding monitoring
techniques, development and technology.
fracturing, storm-water runoff and pollution from pits are a few
water quality issues associated with oil and gas development.
This section discusses the concerns over each issue as well as
fact sheets, studies, and best management practices. Additional
information is provided on state water rights, pollution prevention
guides, and water quality standards for Colorado, New Mexico,
Wyoming, Montana, and Utah.
protection and restoration of wildlife habitat is a complex issue
that requires state, federal, and local governments to cooperate
along with industry, conservation groups, and interested citizens.
This section offers a detailed look at the impacts of oil and
gas development on wildlife with links to several state agencies,
research centers, conservations groups, and reports on game, fish
and other sensitive species.
and gas development can significantly alter natural vegetation,
creating soil erosion, soil pollution, deforestation, and habitat
loss. This page describes the problems associated with oil and
gas development on natural vegetation, providing links to state
and federal laws, plant field guides and resources, and organizations
and contacts for additional information on native plants and habitats.
Fossil fuel extraction technology is continuing to improve, and oil and gas companies are now able to economically produce energy from places that weren't previously possible. Coalbed methane (CBM) gas production, or production of unconventional natural gas resources from coal seams, may serve to take pressure off of conventional natural gas production, but it also comes with environmental challenges. This section provides an overview of CBM technology and its challenges, particularly produced water.
This section tries to put the costs of using BMPs into perspective. Neither this website nor the BMP database addresses the larger question of the value of environmentally friendly development weighed against societal costs and benefits of domestic oil and gas production and maintaining a healthy environment. Rather, the BMP project addresses the more limited question of the operators’ costs of development with and without BMPs.
This section features in depth articles on community and industry experiences with Best Management Practices as practiced in the field.