Friday, July 9, 2010

An ounce of prevention – or millions of gallons of cure?

(Image: Chesapeake Herradura No. 3 Unlined, Earthen Workover Pit that contaminated ground water. Located in Lea County. (Courtesy photo))
By Jon Goldstein • 7/09/10, 7:53 am

"The Gulf oil disaster puts a new spin on Ben Franklin’s old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In the case of BP’s Deepwater Horizon well it appears that some relatively small environmental safety measures upfront could have helped prevent or at least ameliorate the millions of gallons of oil that now foul the Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana to Florida.

In New Mexico we know that it is always less expensive to prevent pollution from occurring than it is to clean it up after the fact. That is part of the reason that our Oil Conservation Commission adopted an ounce of prevention in the form of new environmental rules in June 2008, to prevent contamination generated by the oil and gas industry from polluting our water supplies.

Our efforts are working. Since the adoption of this new precautionary rule, commonly known as the Pit Rule, there has not been a single reported case of groundwater contamination caused by a drilling pit. However, some in the oil and gas industry have criticized the cost of these environmental regulations." More>>>>

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