Iowa’s Environmental Protection Commission is scheduled to consider rule changes in January aimed at controlling discharges from well construction into streams. The commission was scheduled to vote on the changes during its meeting this month, but tabled the measure when design engineers questioned some of the wording in the proposal.
Dale Watson with Fox Engineering in Ames says the changes would hold them to a higher than normal standard and that could open the door to a slew of lawsuits. “It’s like throwing the doors open to the litigating attorneys to come after engineers, which they are happy to do anyway, but it really raises the normal standard of care…that we are bound by,” Watson says.
Watson also opposes a change that would list engineers on the construction permits issued for wells. Watson says, “Our insurance we have for errors or omissions doesn’t cover any construction-related work, we’re not construction contractors, so that’s the problem with that issue.”
The Department of Natural Resources held a series of six public hearings on the proposed changes last August.