New Mexico proposes more water rules directly affecting oil and gas industry

FILE - Oil rigs stand in the Loco Hills field on April 9, 2014, on in Eddy County near Artesia, N.M.. The state's environmental regulators have proposed a new regulatory framework for reusing wastewater with a major focus on treating and repurposing the used, salty byproducts of oil and natural gas drilling in a major U.S. petroleum production zone. The EPA announced Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, its petition to the state Water Quality Control Commission to begin formal deliberations on the proposed rules. (AP Photo/Jeri Clausing, File)


New Mexico wants new rules perhaps putting more restrictions on ground water use by the oil and gas industry.

Its Environment Department recently announced a move to petition the Water Quality Control Commission to begin formal deliverations on the proposed rules, according to the Associated Press. The rules will focus on salty byproducts of oil and and natural gas drilling as the state sees a depletion of freshwater aquifers during drought.

“We need to protect our fresh groundwater supplies not only from degradation or contamination but from overuse,” said John Rhoderick, director of the water protection division at the Environment Department. “We need to do everything we can to maintain those supplies because they’re not being replenished.”

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