(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
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
- 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
- Provide assistance to the coordinating group to distribute information
to Midwest residents.