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Gas levels continue to drop at Midwest School; Operations continue to secure and investigate the area

(Midwest, Wyo.) - The Casper-Natrona Community Health Department shared that high gas levels have not been detected in any other location in the Town of Midwest except for the Midwest School. A Gas Leak was discovered at the school in Midwest in May, which led the students and staff to be moved to North Casper School. The investigation continued with the oil company FDL Operating, LLC leading the investigation into where the gas was coming from. A few months later, this is what has been learned and evaluated: - Since the well adjacent to Midwest school was properly plugged, gas levels are continuing to drop in the school. - FDL Operating has placed a vapor extraction system by the school to speed up the process of soil off-gassing. - Test results from inside Midwest School have been received and are being reviewed by the Agency of Toxic Substance Disease Registry (ATSDR). - The Wyoming Department of Health with the assistance of the Casper-Natrona County Health Department have distributed a health survey to parents/guardians of Midwest School students and to Midwest School staff. *Public Health Information*: Public health agencies have been receiving inquiries from the public and from the media concerning human health effects from oil and gas production. The possible human health impact from oil and gas production is a large and diverse topic. Based on this specific situation in Midwest and based on the knowledge that we have now, the following statements regarding human health impact can be made: - At this time, primary public health objectives include determining which specific compounds or contaminants are/were present in the school and in what amounts, what level of exposure may have been experienced by persons in the school, what, if any, health effects have been experienced by individuals to-date, and how to prevent further environmental health issues at the school moving forward. - Environmental sampling in the school has identified carbon dioxide (CO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Possible adverse health effects from these compounds include, but are not necessarily limited to: respiratory and mucous membrane irritation (throat, nose, sinus, eyes, lungs), gastrointestinal irritation, headaches, skin rash, loss of sense of smell, cough, nose bleeds, nervous system disorders, and an increase in the risk for developing cancer. - The development and severity of human health effects depend on the length/duration of exposure, the dosage or amount to which one is exposed, the specific chemical compounds to which one is exposed, the frequency of exposure, among other things. Not all exposed persons will experience negative health effects. - Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has not been identified in air samples in the school at this time. *FDL Operating, LLC Updates*: - FDL is maintaining an information contact number at (307) 462-9112 for any questions or concerns from the residents of Midwest. - The company conducted a comprehensive search for additional point sources of gas. No additional incidents were reported or discovered beyond this isolated incident. - Company teams are completing a comprehensive evaluation of every well bore drilled within 1⁄2 mile of the leak. - FDL teams successfully sealed a well adjacent to the school. - FDL has retained an environmental consulting company to advise FDL on soil remediation options at the Midwest school. - Analysis of additional wells surrounding the school is ongoing. - Under guidance of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a comprehensive gas sampling. plan for the Midwest school was completed. Results have been turned over to the Casper-Natrona County Health Department and to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry for interpretation and public health review. - FDL Operating is working with the Midwest Town Council to provide additional gas monitoring hroughout the town. FDL staff are available to check Midwest and Edgerton homes and businesses for abnormal gasses 24-hours a day. Requests may be made by calling 307-462-9112 or 307-437-9500. - FDL is providing lodging for any Midwest residents who do not feel comfortable staying in their homes. *Department of Environmental Quality Updates*: - Completed indoor air readings for teacher housing and apartment building owned by NCSD #1. - DEQ continues to support the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation. *Commission Casper-Natrona County Health Department Updates*: - The health department is working with Wyoming Department of Health, Agency for Toxic Substance Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine the risk of the gas leak to human health and safety. - WDH and CNCHD have worked cooperatively to disseminate a health survey to students (via parents) and to staff of Midwest School. The survey was disseminated electronically via email. Parents and staff are encouraged to respond to the survey via the internet link provided in the email. WDH staff will follow-up with non-responders via telephone. Data collection is expected to take several weeks. *Natrona County School District #1* - Working with FDL, DEQ and CNCHD to determine when the school is safe to occupy Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. - The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission continues to work with FDL on analysis of wells within the area. WOGCC engineers are evaluating and approving procedures being implemented by FDL Operating to work on and seal the wells according to state regulations. - WOGCC continues to review daily updates with FDL Operating. *Bureau of Land Management* - Receiving daily updates from FDL Operating. - Working with FDL Operating on federal regulatory issues surrounding the gas leak. *Town of Midwest* - Distributed letters to all Midwest residents to offer monitoring and testing to assist in determining if the gas leak is isolated to Midwest School. - Provide assistance to the coordinating group to distribute information to Midwest residents. #oilcity #news