New rule clears way for New Mexico oil producers to reuse water

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Stock The ROUNDHOUSE - NM Legislature_85103

SANTA FE (AP) – New Mexico regulators have adopted a rule allowing oil and gas developers to reuse water produced during drilling operations.

The state Oil Conservation Commission says the rule will reduce the industry’s use of fresh water by promoting recycling and reuse. The rule includes requirements for the storage of so-called produced water and for the protection of fresh water sources.

Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary David Martin described the provisions as common-sense.

The commission approved the rule following a public hearing. It will take effect March 31.

Critics say the rule offers another way for companies to store contaminated water.

Pete Dronkers with the nonprofit Earthworks tells the Santa Fe New Mexican that the goal should be to eliminate the use of all fresh water in drilling operations.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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