Barrasso, Lummis and Cheney Urge Environmental Protection Agency to Work with WY Town on Spring Water Issue
Wyoming delegation sends letter to EPA regarding spring water dispute in Afton
October 6, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis (both R-WY) and Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging the EPA to work with the town of Afton and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to conduct further tests on the quality of their spring water as opposed to requiring it to fund and build a $12-14 million water treatment operation.
The delegation writes, “We strongly support Afton and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) position that a “ground water under the direct influence” (GWUDI) determination is not warranted. Afton’s compliance sampling spanning over fifteen years has been excellent. There have been no documented or suspected disease outbreaks. The absence of complaints by water users, the disparity between recent microscopic particulate analysis (MPA) results and prior MPA results, a successful chlorination system, and the findings of the 2020 DEQ report all support further analysis and cooperation with parties before making a final GWUDI determination.”
The town of Afton, WY, along with surrounding residents, relies on the Periodic Spring as its main source of water. Afton is a town of 2,200 people with a yearly general budget of $4.6 million. Should the EPA make final a GWUDI determination, punitive actions and expensive treatment operations upwards of $12 million could come to the town, while simultaneously putting at risk other spring-fed water systems throughout the state.