cooperation with the BLM, state agencies, colleges and universities, and other parties, with a primary goal to develop models to help access the methane resource and evaluate environmental implications of its development in the major coalbed regions in the United States.

To date, USGS scientists have published approximately 100 reports and results of research investigations on CBM and associated issues, ranging from circulars highlighting issues for the public (e.g., Nuccio, 2000; Rice and Nuccio, 2000) to a range of Water-Resources Investigations Reports, Open-File Reports, and Professional Papers (e.g., USGS, 2005). With respect to water quality issues, reports have been published on the chemical variability of Powder River Basin formation waters (e.g., Rice and Nuccio, 2000) and how produced water quality may relate to groundwater hydraulics and age of fluids in the CBM system (Bartos and Ogle, 2002). More broadly, the USGS toxic substances hydrology program has published a bibliography of research on petroleum-related produced water contamination (not CBM specific).9

In 2004 the USGS embarked on a long-term monitoring program in the Tongue River watershed of Wyoming and Montana to determine whether CBM production affects streamwater quality and quantity (see Chapter 5). This study, the Tongue River Surface-Water-Quality Monitoring Network,10 conducted in cooperation with BLM, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, the T&Y Irrigation District, Fidelity Exploration, Montana and Wyoming Departments of Environmental Quality, and the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office, involves real-time monitoring, periodic water quality sampling and characterization, and water quantity measurement at 12 locations within the Tongue River watershed, now part of the USGS National Stream Information Program. Many of these data are real time and are accessible via the Internet, including a broad suite of chemical parameters. Also available as an outcome of monitoring by the USGS are data on groundwater levels and streams in numerous basins being developed for CBM.11

The USGS has compiled a publically available national database of the analyzed chemistry of over 58,000 samples of waters sourced from hydrocarbon production, including CBM production,12 and a bibliography of publications dealing with problems associated with the produced formation water (Otton, 2006), including effects of releases into ephemeral and perennial water bodies on the hydrology. The report includes a link to CBM production water data and other sources outside the agency.13

9

See toxics.usgs.gov/bib/bib-PH2O.html (accessed March 23, 2010).

10

See mt.water.usgs.gov/projects/tongueriver/ (accessed March 23, 2010).

11

See water.usgs.gov/osw/ (accessed March 23, 2010).

12

See energy.cr.usgs.gov/prov/prodwat/ (accessed March 23, 2010).

13

See energy.cr.usgs.gov/oilgas/cbmethane/learnmore.html#links (accessed March 23, 2010).



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