This week, Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) released a new mapping project that plots oil and gas waste streams in four states: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming.
This new digital resource, the WORC Oil and Gas Waste Mapping Project is a visual follow-up to WORC report, No Time to Waste. Released in 2015, the report describes and compares federal and state safeguards for oil and gas waste. The report found that the federal government and states throughout the West lacked sufficient protections for the storage, transport, and disposal of radioactive oil and gas field waste.
Following the release of No Time to Waste, there was a clear need for a visual follow-up that met these purposes:
- To provide people with a user-friendly resource that allows people to see the size and scale of the environmental impact of the oil and gas waste stream. This is to increase awareness of this pressing environmental issue.
- Create a resource that allows people to easily locate oil and gas waste near where they live. By making it easier for people to find oil and gas waste like spills, injections, or facilities near where they live, the project allows to communities to more easily monitor what is going on near where they live.
The WORC Oil and Gas Waste Mapping Project was created by the FracTracker Alliance and uses state agency data to chart these environmental impacts and facilities:
- wastewater spills,
- wastewater injection wells,
- radioactive solid waste facilities, and
- commercial oilfield waste disposal facilities.
The map shows the size and scale of oil and gas waste streams, while providing directly affected communities with a user-friendly resource that helps monitor the impacts of oil and gas waste.
“These maps are an amazing resource for communities impacted by oil and gas development,” said Linda Weiss, Chair of WORC’s Oil and Gas Campaign Team. “The visual nature of these maps makes it easier for people directly impacted by oil and gas development to know the location of oil and gas waste facilities and spills. Prior to the release of these maps, people like me had to search through hundreds of pages of state agency data to figure out the location of spills or waste sites.”
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