A controversy in
The county’s commissioners have placed a ban on temporary water lines in rights-of-way. Those lines are used to transport produced water, a byproduct of drilling, for uses that include recycling.
In a recent video,
In banning use of the lines, the commissioners may be contributing to increased wear and tear on county roads and even increased seismicity.
If temporary pipelines cannot be used to move produced water, it must be hauled out by truck.
“We don’t want to put more trucks on the road,” Warmington said.
If the commissioners’ ban makes recycling efforts uneconomical, then more produced water will be injected back into the ground via disposal wells. And high-volume injection of produced water has been associated with increased earthquake activity.
In addition to causing more problems than it solves, the
Regulatory oversight of those activities is instead vested with the
An official with
Safe to say, if a county employee directly causes a pipeline to leak, then the county may be held liable. But it seems excessive in the extreme to ban temporary pipelines because a county employee might someday be careless.
It makes no sense to adopt a policy that could reduce road quality, increase county taxpayers’ road maintenance expenses, perhaps increase seismicity, and require the county to expend money defending lawsuits to address an almost nonexistent problem. Here’s hoping calmer heads prevail and county commissioners work together with industry officials to adopt a better solution.
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