The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Ground Water Protection Council: State Regulations "Adequately Designed"

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted May 28, 2009

A new study by the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) found that state regulations governing oil and natural gas field operations are "adequately designed" to protect ground water. The study, "State Oil and Natural Gas Regulations Designed to Protect Water Resources," was a collaborative effort between GWPC, the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Its goal was to examine the language of state oil and natural gas regulations and evaluate it with respect to water resource protection.

Why is this important? A few news articles in recent months have questioned the efficacy of the regulations and have asserted that certain oil and natural gas operations could be harmful to drinking water. These articles have focused primarily on the practice of hydraulic fracturing, which is used to increase the amount of oil and natural gas that can be produced from each individual well. However, the study found that "state oil and gas regulations related to well construction are designed to be protective of ground water resources relative to the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing."

API responded to the study today saying, "hydraulic fracturing is a tried-and-true, more than 50-year old technology" used increasingly in the United States to produce clean-burning natural gas." To learn more about hydraulic fracturing and its importance to producing domestic oil and natural gas, listen to the podcast in the player below and read this brochure.


Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.