As Idaho gets closer to what could be a significant resumption of natural gas exploration, some new rules will be considered Monday, June 24 for Payette County, which should see the lion's share of the drilling.
Snake River Oil and Gas has snapped up hundreds of land and mineral leases from public and private interests in the wake of previous efforts from Bridge Resources, which saw its drilling operations halt in 2011 when its financial house of cards collapsed. When Bridge started selling off its assets, including a pile of land and mineral leases, Snake River moved in quickly to begin staking its claim in preparation of its own operations.
On Monday, Payette County commissioners will take up a new ordinance that would require exploration companies, such as Snake River Oil and Gas, to conduct baseline water testing at domestic wells near its drilling operations. Testing would need to include detection of aluminum, arsenic, boron, sulfate and uranium.
The proposed ordinance would also require well locations to be a minimum of 200 feet from the residence of the mineral interest owner and a minimum of 500 feet from the residence of any non-owner. Additionally, drilling permit applications would be required to include the location of wells, description of equipment and the number of acres to be disturbed.
In June 2012, Snake River Oil and Gas launched a battery of seismic testing—called vibroseising—in which the company shook the earth's crust to determine where the best gas deposits might be.