Jul 26, 2018

New Mexico, EPA to Explore Wastewater Reuse Options in Natural Oil and Gas Industry

EPA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state for the project

New Mexico and EPA to explore wastewater reuse options and regulations

The U.S. EPA has signed as Memorandum of Understanding with the state of New Mexico, which will validate and make clear the current standards as they relate to wastewater extraction activities for wastewater reuse, recycling and renewal. The clarification of regulations could have significant impact on the natural oil and gas industry throughout the country.

The projected output of wastewater resulting from the oil and gas industry is expected to increase in coming years. With this in mind, New Mexico and EPA will explore and experiment with various wastewater reuse options in order to identify the most efficient practices.

New Mexico alone saw approximately 900 million barrels of wastewater produced by oil and gas operation. Most this wastewater was disposed of in underground injection wells.

In order to execute the effort, a workgroup will develop a white analyzes and appraises the current regulatory framework for wastewater reuse, and will attempt to identify further opportunities for treated water.

“While underground injection certainly has its utility and place, alternatives are available that treat wastewater from oil and natural gas extraction for reintroduction into the hydrologic cycle which is especially important in arid areas from drought like New Mexico,” said David P. Ross, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water.