Water Quality - Well Drilling Map

Improved technological developments in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as “fracking,” have resulted in an oil and gas production boom nationwide. In October 2013, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced that the United States would surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas by the end of the year. The boom has resulted in oil and gas development in regions unaccustomed to the industry as well as in regions that have a century-long relationship with oil and gas extraction. 

Wastewater discharges, hydraulic fracturing fluid spills, improper casing/cementing, and other accidental spills pose potential water quality risks in areas where directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies are utilized. Rapid development of oil and gas wells, particularly in urban and suburban areas, coupled with the practice of hydraulic fracturing, has sparked concern for water quality and an interest in laws designed to protect water quality.

This page includes statutes and regulations from Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  These states overlay major shale formations such as the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Greater Green River, Haynesville, Mancos, Marcellus, Niobrara, Permian, Piceance, Powder River, San Juan, Uinta, and Woodford. State and local governments in these jurisdictions are experiencing new or increased oil and gas development, and there is tremendous value in looking at other jurisdictions to guide statutory construction and rulemaking.

To explore statutes and regulations pertaining to water quality issues related to oil and gas activities, use the query box below. This page has been updated through May 2014.

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If you have questions, corrections, or additions, please contact Matt Samelson at oilandgasbmps@colorado.edu.


Related Resources

LawAtlas Interactive Maps: 

Water Quality:  Permitting, Design, and Construction

Water Quality:  Well Drilling

Water Quality:  Well Completion

Water Quality:  Production and Operation

Water Quality:  Reclamation

Did you know?

Laws in 12 of the 13 states examined here require testing to verify that cement casings are complete.

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Map Legend: State Included in research. Not included in research.