Rudy Herndon – The Times Independent
While business is down sharply at the largest oil and gas wastewater treatment facility in Grand County, officials are preparing for the possibility of future growth in that industry.
The Grand County Planning Commission began last week to review possible changes to county ordinances that regulate operations at “produced water” facilities. Produced water is a byproduct of oil and gas exploration and production; it typically contains high levels of salt and hydrocarbons.
County officials enacted the ordinances in 2008, and they last updated them in 2010.
However, Grand County Technical Inspector Lee Shenton suggested that the time has come to revise the ordinances once again, following recent developments at the local, state and regional levels.
According to Shenton, some quick and simple revisions could help reduce emissions, protect wildlife and generate more revenues for project operators and Grand County alike.
“Our folks did the best they could in 2008 and 2010, but we didn’t really have good data to go by,” Shenton told The Times-Independent.
For one thing, he said, the county lacked the expert guidance that the Utah Division of Air Quality (DAQ) recently gave it. In August, the agency ordered Danish Flats Environmental Services to install additional emissions-control equipment at the company’s evaporation pond facility near Cisco. (…)