Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead unveiled draft legislation this week for groundwater testing before, during and after oil and natural gas exploration operations in the state.
Mead this year published a 31-page report outlining a state energy strategy. He said the state has to strike a balance between oil and natural gas development and environmental conservation.
"Collecting baseline water data is a necessary step both supporting important energy development and protecting a vital resource -- our water," Mead said in a statement published Tuesday.
EDF Senior Energy Policy Manager Jon Goldstein said testing programs like Mead's are a first line of defense against groundwater contamination.
"We are still reviewing these rules, but they appear to establish a solid, scientifically valid approach to establishing groundwater conditions in areas where oil and gas drilling will occur," he said Thursday.
Mead's report says the state is the No. 3 natural gas producer and the 8th largest oil producer in the nation.