Mission: The ground water protection council is a national association of state ground water and underground injection control agencies whose mission is to promote the protection and conservation of ground water resources for all beneficial uses, recognizing groundwater as a critical component of the ecosystem. The ground water protection council provides a forum for stakeholder communication and research in order to improve governments' role in the protection and conservation of ground water.
Programs: Underground injection control (uic) conference & operator training each year, the gwpc hosts a state-led uic conference in conjunction with the u. S. Environmental protection agency (epa) that addresses state and national uic program challenges. The 2016 conference was held february 23-25 in denver. More than 260 attendees from 30 states and two canadian provinces attended the event. It included presentations and training from leading state, federal and industry experts on topics like induced seismicity, water management, fracfocus, aquifer exemptions and environmental accountability. The conference also featured a reception, allowing experts to collaborate with colleagues to address challenges and share successes. Class ii peer reviews since 1989, the gwpc has assisted states by conducting class ii uic program peer reviews. The peer review process provides an in-depth evaluation of state class ii uic programs using a detailed questionnaire and direct interviews conducted by a team of experienced class ii uic program directors (peers) and gwpc staff at a host-state. The gwpc invites representatives of the u. S. Epa and the u. S. Department of energy (doe) to participate as observers. Class ii peer reviews provide a tool for states to evaluate the effectiveness of their class ii uic programs in protecting underground sources of drinking water. The review also promotes information exchange between state programs, identifies program improvements, assists states and the gwpc in identifying problem areas, and evaluates class ii uic program responses to emerging issues. The program is an independent evaluation and includes non-binding recommendations for program improvements. Nebraska began a review of its program in november 2015, which was released in early 2016. A review for the state of ohio is planned for late summer 2016. Risk based data management system (rbdms) rbdms, first developed in 1992, provides analytical tools to aid state regulatory agencies in their efforts to track compliance data from oil, gas, and injection well operations and to manage environmental field observation and laboratory data. Since its creation, the software has enabled agencies at the state and federal levels to collect baseline data needed to make informed regulatory decisions that protect the environment, reduce the cost of information exchange, and reduce participating agnecies' operating expenses while increasing staff efficiency. In 2016, the gwpc worked to enhance rbdms systems using net technology, upgrade field inspection capabilities, add features to eforms, update risk assessment tools, and perform needs assessments in select states. Rbdms wellfinder app was released and made available for ios and android users during the summer of 2016. The app allows users to locate and select wells to display valuable data and information provided by rbdms user states. Users are able to search wells to determine api numbers, well type, well status, operator contact information, recent and historical production data, and regulatory and emergency contacts. Currently, the app only features data from oklahoma, with the intent to expand to other states in the near future. Additionally, a work group has been established to aid in the development of a new web-based user interface for rbdms. Technology and user expectations have changed dramatically since the current inferface's initial design, and upgrades and changes (in the works now) will enhance users' experiences. A hands-on technical training was held in florida in april 2016 for rbdms state users. Fracfocus fracfocus, the national chemical disclosure registry for hydraulic fracturing, is continuing to evolve and expand its performance and versatility. More than 106,000 well sites across the country have been registered through fracfocus, with nearly 1,000 companies reporting data, and more than 1. 3 million visitors. In 2016, fracfocus began the release of chemical disclosure data to the public in machine-readable (sql) format. This now allows fracfocus users and researchers to more easily search and aggregate data. Each month the download is updated with the latest disclosure submissions. The database download contains the same data that is available in the disclosure pdfs. Additionally, gwpc staff worked on the release of fracfocus 3. 0 and an updated public site. The new system, released in june 2016, expands the public's ability to search records, improves data accuracy, and will update educational information on chemical use, oil & gas production and potential environmental impacts by the end of 2016. These upgrades are designed to dramatically enhance the site's functionality for the public, state regulatory agencies and industry users. Adding more participating companies and reported wells from across the country, the continued success of fracfocus is the result of state and federal agencies and the oil and natural gas industry working together to provide public transparency. Sogre the state oil & gas regulatory exchange (sogre) is an outreach program created under the gwpc and interstate oil and gas compact commission (iogcc) statesfirst initiative. The mission of the sogre is to assist states to continually improve state oil and gas regulatory programs by providing member states with consultation and program review services targeted to their specific needs. In 2016, the sogre board worked to refine standards and procedures for its provided services, which include regulatory consultations between states and regulatory assessments to assist states in developing rule revisions. Professional networking, development & recognition every year the gwpc holds an annual forum to address key ground water issues faced by our member states. We make it a top priority to provide top-notch and innovative presentations as well as important networking opportunities for our members through our events. The 2016 annual forum was held september 11-14 in orlando focusing on "state water sustainability planning: the groundwater connection. "