I recently attended a presentation by CAIA (Citizens Allied for Integrity and Accountability). They are a watchdog group examining regulations for oil and gas drilling in Idaho. CAIA is a group of concerned citizens whose mission is to have the state enact regulations that protect communities’ property rights, air, water, living and recreational space from irresponsible oil and gas drilling.
So far, sub-surface leases on approximately 80,000 acres have been sold to oil and gas companies by the state of Idaho. Many of these leases are below subdivisions, schools and rivers. Current Idaho regulations allow gas or oil wells to be placed within 300 feet from dwellings and domestic water wells, and local communities have little to no say on regulations affecting them. Imagine a gas rig only 300 feet from your house — not only would there be loud noise and air pollution, but the drilling process could contaminate your water supply.
Within the Federal Clean Water Act there is an exception for oil and gas exploration and production. It is imperative that local communities ensure that current regulations will protect them from environmental hazards associated with oil and gas production. State regulations are inadequate and do not.
Tom Kennedy, Eagle
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