are exciting times for the Division of Environmental Geosciences:
DEG-sponsored technical and poster sessions at the recent AAPG
annual meeting in Dallas combined rock-solid, real-world applications
with great attendance and discussions.
DEG luncheon featured a spirited talk on water resources by well-known
entrepreneur and AAPG member T. Boone Pickens.
2005 technical sessions and field trips are shaping up to be awesome!
peer-reviewed technical journal, Environmental Geosciences, has
a new look, lower production costs and a record backlog of quality
papers awaiting publication. We're even considering a few special
issues. It is as if EG has suddenly been "discovered!"
wonderful, doesn't it? Well, it is wonderful, and these successes
are the direct result of the tireless efforts of many dedicated
individuals over the last 12 years, from DEG past-presidents to
new student members, and from section representatives to session
there's a small hitch in our git-along: Our membership numbers are
question to ask is "Why?"
that DEG now stands poised at a critical crossroads in its history.
Increasingly complex (and potentially expensive) environmental issues,
regulations and concerns permeate every aspect of the hydrocarbon
and energy mineral exploration, production, processing and distribution
compliance is regulated at the international, federal, state and
local governmental levels. Other very real environmental drivers
arise from the public and financial sectors, as well as from internal
corporate business units.
just a few examples:
Permitting is required for seismic data acquisition and for siting
of wells and boreholes.
measures must be taken to protect both surface and ground water
at well production and mine locations; hazardous air pollutants
and greenhouse gas emissions must be controlled and reported.
transportation infrastructure is crowded with environmental regulations
applicable to maritime shipping, pipelines and trucking.
and boreholes must be properly abandoned to prevent hydrocarbon
and/or brine contamination of ground-water resource aquifers.
conditions must be determined prior to real estate transactions;
potential environmental impacts of drilling mud chemistry must
wrangling over water rights are becoming more prevalent
and/or actual impacts to endangered species and protected environs
must be studied.
goes on and on. Oh, and of course, don't forget the "traditional"
components of "environmental" — the leaking underground or aboveground
storage tank, the burst pipeline, the wrecked tanker, the legacy
of manufactured gas plants, the refinery, the chemical spill and
the proper characterization and disposal of waste.
It is plain
to see that the livelihood of every single AAPG member is affected
either directly or indirectly by environmental issues related to
the industry in which they work. Therefore, it is in every AAPG
member's best interest to actively support DEG's mission:
To aid AAPG members in the application of multidisciplinary expertise
to the petroleum/energy minerals industries for the purpose of
resolving environmental issues.
educate AAPG members about important environmental, hydrogeologic,
and resource conservation issues.
communicate AAPG's commitment to protect the environment while
developing the world's natural resources in a responsible manner.
promote environmental self-regulation within the petroleum/energy
add to this list one more critical role DEG can play within AAPG
— to showcase the multitude of environmental success stories that
our AAPG members and their companies spend so much time, money and
effort striving so diligently to achieve.
is only as strong and vibrant as its membership. If AAPG geologists
and their employers do not actively participate in DEG by becoming
members and by contributing their time, their experience and their
success stories, then I fear the division will stagnate at best.
the broad membership of AAPG acknowledges and envisions the actual
and potential value-added benefits of DEG, then we will thrive.
I personally invite and challenge each of you to actively promote
membership and participation in DEG to your friends, colleagues,
co-workers, supervisors and managers.
to majors, from students to professors, from consultants to regulators
— we can only benefit if we're all pulling in the same direction
with a common goal in focus.
for everyone in AAPG!