NM regulators to allow more testimony on pit rule

Posted at: 11/15/2012 2:31 PM
By: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico regulators are no closer to determining how to best regulate certain wastes produced by oil and natural gas drilling.

The state Oil Conservation Commission was set to resume deliberations Thursday on a request by the industry to revamp the state's so-called pit rule. However, commissioners decided to allow for more testimony.

The commission plans to take the new testimony in early January. Deliberations will resume after that. The commission has already heard hours of testimony on the proposed regulatory changes.

The regulations in question govern how producers handle drilling mud and other waste in pits, buried tanks, sumps and closed-loop systems.

The industry and some state lawmakers contend existing regulations have pushed producers from the state, costing New Mexico jobs and revenue. Environmentalists argue relaxing the rules could lead to soil and water contamination.

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