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Alaska Section, American Water Resources Association

Jeff Conaway, Alaska Section AWRA Southcentral-Region Director

This is a tentative list of winter speakers for AWRA, South-Central Section. The Southcentral AWRA generally meets 12:00 - 13:00 on the 3rd Wednesday of each month in the EROS conference room, 2nd floor, Grace Hall, 4230 University Drive, APU campus, Anchorage. Presentations are informal, and designed to be informative, timely, but not necessarily polished. If you would like to present a work in progress, chair a panel discussion of a current water range of government and private hydrologists, please call or email Jeff Conaway at - (907) 786-7041.

November 19, 2003

Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Role in Protection of Fresh Water

Randy Ruedrich - Commissioner

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regulates subsurface oil and gas operations on all federal, state and private lands within the state. Protecting fresh water from contamination is a primary aspect of our Alaskan oil and gas regulations. EPA has delegated primacy to AOGCC to administer the Clean Drinking Water Act Underground Injection Control Program for Alaskan oil and gas operations. The AOGCC’s authority is exercised through the issuance of permits and orders approving oil and gas operations. Orders relating to subsurface activities require public notice with an opportunity for a public hearing. Commercial Coal bed methane development operations will require several Conservation Orders establishing operating rules for each development area.

The entire set of AOGCC Regulations can be found at:

If you would like to receive Public Hearing Announcements and Copies of Commission Orders, contact our Special Staff Assistant at

A brief recap of AOGCC Freshwater Protection:

  • Protection of water with less than 10,000 ppm salinity is a major part of the AOGCC’s responsibilities with regulation of oil and gas operations
    (Drinking water usually has less than 200 ppm)
  • All applications for underground injection operations require public notice with an opportunity for public comment and a public hearing
  • Protection of underground sources of drinking water requires:
    • identification of aquifers (AOGCC consults with DNR hydrologists on distribution of water wells and uses oil and gas well data to delineate water salinity. The cross section of Evergreen wells shows an example).
    • well designs that isolate the aquifers from injection pressures and fluids (casing depths and grades, cementing programs, mechanical integrity testing)
    • operational constraints that prevent injected fluids from migrating into aquifers (injection pressure, rate, and fluid limitations)
    • injection well surveillance that insures mechanical problems cannot impair injection operations (continuous monitoring of well pressures during injection, periodic surveillance activities ranging from pressure tests to surveillance logging)

Southcentral Region Brown Bag Agendas and available abstracts

Please visit our previous years Southcentral Region Brown-Bag abstracts and talks. Information is kept on-line to better serve our speakers, members, and the public.

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