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Wed June 20, 2012
Regulators begin hearing on oil and gas pit rule changes
A panel of New Mexico regulators will be taking more comments about revising regulations of how energy developers dispose of drilling waste.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the Oil Conservation Commission is scheduled to begin a hearing Wednesday in Santa Fe on the state's current pit rule.
The rule was established four years ago to address concerns about contamination of surface water. It governs how oil and gas producers handle wastes from drilling operations in buried tanks, sumps and pits.
Oil and gas companies say the pit rule has increased their cost by requiring unnecessary design requirements and additional paperwork. Environmentalists and residents argue some of the proposed changes would weaken protection of wildlife habitats from oilfield pits.