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2013 News Releases

Wyoming Gives EPA Notice of Intent to Sue over Agency’s Failure to Act

posted Jan 3, 2014, 7:56 AM by vfe_ets_veronica.harris@wyo.gov   [ updated Jan 3, 2014, 7:56 AM ]

12/20/2013


OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437



December 20, 2013


******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******

Contact:
Renny MacKay
Communications Director
renny.mackay@wyo.gov


Wyoming Gives EPA Notice of Intent to Sue over Agency’s Failure to Act 


CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead, through the Wyoming Attorney General, has notified the Environmental Protection Agency that Wyoming will sue the agency for its failure to take action on a state plan for air quality regulation. The federal Clean Air Act required the EPA to act on Wyoming’s plan for non-attainment new source review in November of 2012.

“Wyoming regulators worked hard to draft this plan and we are being responsible in providing leadership on air quality regulation. Now, more than a year past its mandatory deadline, the EPA has not acted. I feel it is important for Wyoming to stand up for its plan. We must also guard against the EPA opening itself up to a suit from another group and then settling with that group without consideration of Wyoming’s position - locking Wyoming out of the process despite EPA’s obligation to cooperate with us,” Governor Mead said.

The state plan for non-attainment new source review provides a process for regulating and permitting new sources of emissions in a non-attainment area. Wyoming’s plan incorporates federal standards, but Wyoming maintains leadership on the permitting by virtue of creating a plan. The State of Wyoming submitted its plan in May of 2011. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to review and take final action on the state’s plan within eighteen months of submission. The Upper Green River Basin is currently designated as a non-attainment area for ozone.

Wyoming has notified the EPA it will file a civil action by the end of January if the EPA does not act on the state plan before then.

-end-

Governor: Wyoming Will Not Honor EPA Decision Changing State/Tribal Boundary

posted Jan 3, 2014, 7:54 AM by vfe_ets_veronica.harris@wyo.gov   [ updated Jan 3, 2014, 7:54 AM ]

12/20/2013 


OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437



December 20, 2013


******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******

Contact:
Renny MacKay
Communications Director
renny.mackay@wyo.gov

Governor: Wyoming Will Not Honor EPA Decision Changing State/Tribal Boundary 


CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead informed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that he will not honor its decision related to the boundary of the State and the Wind River Reservation. Three days after signing the decision the regional administrator of the EPA told Wyoming the EPA was granting the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes application for Treatment as a State. Treatment as a State gives Tribes access to grant funding for air quality monitoring, but the EPA decision also purports to re-interpret a 1905 Congressional Act and in doing so expand the boundaries of the Wind River Reservation.

“This decision goes against 100 years of history, involving over a million acres of land. It is not a decision that should come from a regulatory agency,” Governor Mead said. “I believe the EPA is in the wrong and I will not honor its decision.”

Governor Mead has instructed the Wyoming Attorney General to take aggressive action to prevent the EPA’s decision from adversely affecting our state. “There is no case law that supports the EPA’s position, while there is case law including a Wyoming Supreme Court decision upholding the state’s position that Riverton is not in the Reservation,” Governor Mead said.

The Governor also directed Wyoming agencies to conduct business as usual in terms of how they operate in Riverton. This directive covers, among other things, law enforcement, government services, regulation and recognition of the status quo in property ownership and water use.

-end-

Governor Appoints New Circuit Court Judge for the Seventh Judicial District

posted Jan 3, 2014, 7:53 AM by vfe_ets_veronica.harris@wyo.gov   [ updated Jan 3, 2014, 7:53 AM ]

12/18/2013


OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437



December 18, 2013


******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******

Contact:
Renny MacKay
Communications Director
renny.mackay@wyo.gov


Governor Appoints New Circuit Court Judge for the Seventh Judicial District 


CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead has selected Brian Christensen as the new Circuit Court Judge for the Seventh Judicial District, which serves Natrona County. Christensen will fill the seat vacated by Judge Michael Huber who is retiring.

Christensen went to high school in Casper, has undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wyoming, and has served as Assistant District Attorney in the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office for the last 29 years.

“Brian has strong roots in Wyoming and in Casper. That background, teamed with his knowledge of the law and care for justice, make him a good fit to take on this judgeship. He has considerable trial experience and this means he understands the inner workings of the courtroom and respects the role of the judge,” Governor Mead said.

“This is a high honor and I appreciate the confidence Governor Mead and the Judicial Nominating Commission have placed in me. I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Natrona County in this new capacity,” Christensen said.

-end-

The Governor’s Task Force on Forests to Meet Next Week

posted Dec 16, 2013, 8:52 AM by vfe_ets_veronica.harris@wyo.gov   [ updated Dec 16, 2013, 1:41 PM by State Of Wyoming ]

12/11/2013

OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437


December 11, 2013


******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******

Contact:
Renny MacKay
Communications Director
renny.mackay@wyo.gov


The Governor’s Task Force on Forests to Meet Next Week 


CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead’s Task Force on Forests will meet in Cheyenne on December 18-20. The group is made up of representatives of state, local government and federal government, industry, conservation groups, and forest users. Governor Mead has asked for Task Force recommendations by the fall of 2014.

Next week’s meeting will take place in room B-24 in the Hathaway Building. On December 18 and 19 the Task Force will meet from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On December 20 the meeting is scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to noon.

The general charge for the Task Force is to develop strategies, recommendations and measurable actions that the State of Wyoming in conjunction with federal and private partners, can implement.

For more information about the Task Force and to learn about future meetings please visit the Ruckelshaus Institute website.

-end-

Governor Extends Executive Order for Propane Deliveries to Meet Spike in Demand

posted Dec 16, 2013, 8:49 AM by vfe_ets_veronica.harris@wyo.gov   [ updated Dec 16, 2013, 8:50 AM ]

12/11/2013


OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437


December 11, 2013


******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******

Contact:
Renny MacKay
Communications Director
renny.mackay@wyo.gov


Governor Extends Executive Order for Propane Deliveries to Meet Spike in Demand 


CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead has extended the Executive Order creating emergency rules for the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WyDOT). This Order is specific to drivers of propane delivery trucks working inside of Wyoming and it allows them to make extra deliveries to heat homes and businesses.

“The extreme cold temperatures have continued and demand for propane, a fuel many people here use to heat their homes, remains high. We need to extend the emergency rules to help meet that demand for the safety of Wyoming residents,” Governor Mead said. “We continue to stay in touch with the companies involved stressing the importance of safety for both drivers and the general public.”

The Executive Order is in effect for an additional five days until midnight on December 16, 2013.

-end-

Governor Proposes Accelerated Plan for Plugging Abandoned Wells

posted Dec 16, 2013, 8:36 AM by vfe_ets_veronica.harris@wyo.gov   [ updated Dec 16, 2013, 8:40 AM ]

12/10/2013

OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437


December 10, 2013


******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******

Contact:
Renny MacKay
Communications Director
renny.mackay@wyo.gov


Governor Proposes Accelerated Plan for Plugging Abandoned Wells 


CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead is proposing an aggressive plan to accelerate plugging abandoned oil and gas wells. The Governor has recommended an additional $3 million in the budget as part of this ramped up effort over the next four years. There are about 1,220 abandoned wells on state and fee land in Wyoming.

“Energy production and environmental stewardship are inextricably connected. Plugging wells and reclaiming the land are expensive endeavors, but they are necessary to minimize disturbance to landowners and to safeguard our land, water and wildlife,” Governor Mead said.

This plan calls on the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to hire a project manager to focus on the plugging effort. Other agencies involved include the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of State Lands and the State Engineer.

“Many of the wells that are currently idle will be taken care of by the private operator. We all appreciate the companies that are responsible and we can promote good performance,” Governor Mead said. “My plan includes active monitoring so we can make adjustments as necessary. It also identifies steps to ensure wells are adequately bonded in the future and do not become the responsibility of the state.”

Governor Mead’s accelerated plan anticipates plugging at least 305 wells per year. The plan identifies other possible wells that might need to be plugged by the state and addresses them as well.

Additionally, the Governor recommends that the WOGCC review its bond requirements for oil and gas wells and review the Conservation Tax, which helps fund plugging and reclamation efforts. His plan also includes a recommendation that the WOGCC establish minimum standards for plugging and reclaiming orphaned wells.

-end-

Governor Discusses Budget with Lawmakers

posted Dec 10, 2013, 9:29 AM by vfe_ets_veronica.harris@wyo.gov   [ updated Dec 10, 2013, 9:29 AM ]

12/9/2013


OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437



December 9, 2013


******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******

Contact:
Renny MacKay
Communications Director
renny.mackay@wyo.gov



Governor Discusses Budget with Lawmakers 


CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead reviewed his budget proposal for 2015-2016 with state lawmakers today. He met with the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee (JAC) at the Capitol. Stemming the tide of budget growth seen in the last decade is a priority for the Governor and his proposal of a $3.3 billion budget is relatively flat in relation to the budget he proposed two years ago.

Governor Mead pointed to stable and moderately increasing revenue projections, which teamed with conservative budgeting allows the state to address needs and to take advantage of opportunities. He identified salary increases for employees (state, judiciary, University of Wyoming, community colleges and K-12 teachers), the Unified Network, support for local government, and more resources to reduce the waiting list for the developmentally disabled.

“These proposals reflect priorities I have supported throughout my time as Governor. A Unified Network will enhance our ability to attract business, educate students and advance technologies. A thoughtful compensation plan is essential to any business and to running an effective government. Increased funding for local governments ensures that our communities remain vibrant. Providing support to people with development disabilities and reducing the waiting list is the right thing to do,” Governor Mead said.

Other budget proposals include:

  • Modernization of the state rulemaking process by developing an updated data system and making rules more accessible to the public. 
  • Sustaining and expanding tourism marketing plans to build on growth in that industry. 
  • Strengthening the Air Enhancement Services program and its support of commercial air travel to and from Wyoming. 
  • Funding for the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust and its projects. 
  • Moving forward on the Tier 1 College of Engineering building and academic programs at UW. 
  • Updating facilities at the community colleges, State Hospital, Life Resource Center, Boys’ School, and National Guard armories. 
  • Building and renovating new schools. 
  • Funding for court security and school safety. 
  • Supporting health care initiatives including medical homes, aging and disability resource centers, the 2-1-1 program, immunization programs and the e-health partnership. 

“This budget continues a tradition of conservative fiscal policy that allows us to chart a responsible financial course in times of prosperity and to weather rough times,” Governor Mead said.

-end-

Governor and First Lady Host Holiday Open House

posted Dec 10, 2013, 9:27 AM by vfe_ets_veronica.harris@wyo.gov   [ updated Dec 10, 2013, 9:27 AM ]

12/9/2013

OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437


December 9, 2013


******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******

Contact:
Renny MacKay
Communications Director
renny.mackay@wyo.gov


Governor and First Lady Host Holiday Open House 


CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead and First Lady Carol Mead are hosting an open house to wish people a Merry Christmas and happy holidays. The event is at the Governor’s Residence in Cheyenne on December 15, 2013 from 3:00-5:00pm. There will be cookies, candy and apple cider.

“Carol and I invite people to come and join us in celebrating the holiday season. We also send our best wishes for a great Christmas and New Year to everyone across the state. It’s a wonderful time of year,” Governor Mead said.

The Governor’s Residence is located at 5001 Central Avenue.

-end-

Due to Extreme Cold Governor Issues Executive Order to Allow Propane Deliveries to Continue

posted Dec 9, 2013, 9:41 AM by vfe_ets_veronica.harris@wyo.gov   [ updated Dec 9, 2013, 9:41 AM ]

12/6/2013

OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437


December 6, 2013


******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******

Contact:
Renny MacKay
Communications Director
renny.mackay@wyo.gov


Due to Extreme Cold Governor Issues Executive Order to Allow Propane Deliveries to Continue 


CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead has signed an Executive Order creating emergency rules for the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WyDOT). This Order allows drivers of propane trucks to continue deliveries to heat homes across Wyoming.

“This extreme cold has caused a spike in the demand for propane, a fuel many people here use to heat their homes. This temporary, emergency rule means those deliveries can continue and it keeps people in Wyoming safe,” Governor Mead said. “We have spoken with the companies involved asking them to take precautions to ensure the safety of both drivers and the general public.”

The Executive Order is in effect until midnight on December 11th, 2013.

-end-

Governor Moves GIS Data Clearinghouse Forward

posted Dec 9, 2013, 9:39 AM by vfe_ets_veronica.harris@wyo.gov   [ updated Dec 9, 2013, 9:40 AM ]

12/6/2013

OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437

December 6, 2013

******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******

Contact:
Renny MacKay
Communications Director
renny.mackay@wyo.gov


Governor Moves GIS Data Clearinghouse Forward 

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead has announced a partnership with the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC) at the University of Wyoming to create new digital maps and a clearinghouse of geographic information system (GIS) data about Wyoming. This project is set up through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) and WyGISC. WyGISC is the primary resource for sharing and distributing publically available Wyoming-focused geographic data.
The project will include scientific data collected by governmental agencies, as well as geographic data related to topics ranging from vegetation and geology to transportation and demographics, aerial photography, and satellite imagery. The project will also consolidate several existing data services software applications, which are presently in various locations.

“More information about Wyoming’s geology, natural resources, and habitat will benefit all of us. This tool can guide decision making related to energy development and resource management to improve outcomes,” Governor Mead said. “I believe this geographic data clearinghouse will be easily accessible and usable - we will all learn more about Wyoming.”

The impetus for the project came from Governor Mead and the Legislature. The project, as implemented, will collect baseline scientific data, provide a repository for the data, and have a mechanism to make the data accessible to the public. The Governor’s Energy Strategy, “Leading the Charge,” was developed with partners from across the state and includes the initiative of creating an energy atlas. The energy atlas is part of this project.

Potential contributors include state, local and federal agencies, the University of Wyoming, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.
Karen Rogers is GIS Enterprise Architect for ETS. She said, “Groups can store or link their data to the site voluntarily and I encourage broad participation to realize the full potential of the resource. It is important to note, that only publicly available data will be accessible for direct sharing on the site.”

Specific content for the clearinghouse site will be developed in consultation with the Wyoming Geographic Information Systems Advisory Council, which includes the GIS Oversight Committee and Technical Advisory Group appointed by the Governor.

“WyGISC looks forward to working with the State in creating a resource that will inform and support science and education, as well as many kinds of place-based decision activities related to resource management, economic development and health and safety concerns,” says Jeff Hamerlinck, WyGISC Director. “We are also excited to take advantage of new information delivery technologies that will make this less of a traditional data ‘warehouse’ and more of a ‘gateway’ for reaching a distributed community of data partners, who remain the stewards of the information they know best.”

WyGISC expects to deploy the new clearinghouse site by the end of Summer 2014. A public workshop about this project is scheduled for December 17, 2013 from 9:30am to 3:30pm at the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Conference Room in Casper.

-end-

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