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Gov. Mead speaks about state takeover of the Pavillion water study and potential investments

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Governor Matt Mead says he trusts the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to deliver trustworthy results when it takes over the Pavillion water contamination study from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A draft of the study initiated by the EPA was released in 2011 and tentatively linked groundwater contamination with fracking, something industry expressed skepticism about.

Mead says he’s not sure yet whether the state study will be peer reviewed once it’s completed.

“As we hire outside experts – expert or experts – I think that’s something that can be determined. But whether or not it’s peer reviewed, I have confidence that the DEQ is going to do a good job,” Mead says.

The Governor says the state wanted to take over the study because Wyoming officials felt state agencies would deliver answers about what happened faster than the EPA.

Mead also says he is waiting for the October CREG report to come out, but state revenues so far look good and he has several investments he’d like to make if the projections turn out to be true.

One investment would be an increase in salaries for state employees.

“I’m also very interested in putting money from my SIPA account to provide money for a unified network, which will expand broadband capacity across the state many many times,” he says. “I think that is not only good for education and telemedicine, telecommuting, but I think it’s also going to provide us additional opportunities to expand the technology sector in Wyoming.”  

Mead adds that he would look into putting more money into capital construction and infrastructure, as well as money for local government.

Irina Zhorov is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Wyoming. In between, she worked as a photographer and writer for Philadelphia-area and national publications. Her professional interests revolve around environmental and energy reporting and she's reported on mining issues from Wyoming, Mexico, and Bolivia. She's been supported by the Dick and Lynn Cheney Grant for International Study, the Eleanor K. Kambouris Grant, and the Social Justice Research Center Research Grant for her work on Bolivian mining and Uzbek alpinism. Her work has appeared on Voice of America, National Native News, and in Indian Country Today, among other publications.
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