Audit Finds Problems With Oil And Gas Regulation In Michigan

Sep 27, 2013

A new report shows almost 70% of actively producing oil and gas wells in Michigan are not being inspected as often as the state intends.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher.

Brad Wurfel is with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. He says the inspection issue is based on high goals set by the department itself. Other than that, he says officials are pleased with the report.

“They had some very good suggestions,” he says.  “We’re going to take a strong look at those. And we thought it was a very positive report, overall, for the department.”

Hugh McDiarmid is with the Michigan Environmental Council.

“These wells need to be monitored and somebody needs to be looking over the shoulder of industry,” he says.

He says he’s most concerned about an expected influx of gas wells that use the controversial extraction method known as “fracking.” He says if the department is having trouble keeping up with inspections now, it could become an even bigger problem if fracking takes hold in the state.