Deliberations begin in state's pit rule case

Sep 24, 2012

After hearing weeks of testimony, New Mexico regulators are grappling with how to best regulate certain wastes produced by oil and natural gas development.

The state Oil Conservation Commission started deliberations Monday on a request by the industry to revamp the so-called pit rule.

The set of regulations govern how oil and gas producers handle drilling wastes in pits, buried tanks, sumps and closed-loop systems.

The industry and some state lawmakers contend the regulations have pushed producers from the state, costing New Mexico jobs and revenue. Environmentalists argue the rules are needed to prevent water and soil contamination.

On Thursday, a coalition of groups delivered more than 8,000 petition signatures to Gov. Susana Martinez, requesting that the pit rule be kept intact.

Deliberations could take as long as a week.