U.S. Water News Online
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Two Campbell County ranch couples are
suing the Wyoming Board of Control and the state engineer's office,
arguing their ranches have been damaged by inadequate regulation of
water discharged by coal-bed methane wells.
Bill and Marge West, and L.J. and Karen Turner contend that the
state engineer's office has failed to uphold its constitutional and
statutory obligations to protect the state's groundwater by not
managing the volumes of water pumped to the surface in the production
of coal-bed methane.
The lawsuit was filed in District Court in Cheyenne.
Massive amounts of groundwater is pumped from coal seams to allow
the methane to be captured.
The Wests, who have ranched for more than 50 years on their
13,000-acre property, say "saline and sodic" in the methane water has
disrupted normal irrigation, killed vegetation and damaged the soil
of the ranch's valuable bottom lands.
The Turners contend the draw-down of the groundwater aquifer has
harmed their wells.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Kate Fox.
State Engineer Patrick Tyrrell said he hadn't had time to read the
lawsuit. While he wouldn't comment on the case, he did say his office
intended to proceed with proposals he is working on to help manage
and regulate volumes of discharged CBM water in the state.
Return to the
U.S. Water News' Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water
Use a comma to separate e-mail addresses:
Hi, I thought you might like to read this article.