Examining the Environmental Risks and Oversight of Enhanced Oil Recovery in the United States

Photo Caption: The Energy, Resources and Environment 2017 Practicum Team (left to right) Courtney Romolt, Syed Jehangeer Ali, Matthew Geraci, and Regina Rossmann.

As part of the Johns Hopkins SAIS Energy, Resources and Environment Program’s Practicum, Syed Jehangeer Ali, Matthew Geraci, Courtney Romolt, and Regina Rossmann collaborated with Clean Water Action to produce a report that provides the public and policymakers with a better understanding of the technologies, risks, and oversight of enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Their research uncovered that EPA’s Underground Injection Control Program, which is tasked with the oversight of EOR, lacks the funding and staffing levels necessary to properly protect drinking water sources and the surrounding environment from EOR practices, which constitute an estimated 60% of U.S. oil production.

The practicum allowed the students first-hand experience for energy and environment consulting work. Not only did they develop invaluable skills working as a team, but they also had the opportunity to negotiate the scope of work with their clients, create their own research and organizational methodology, and create new contacts through personal interviews conducted for their research. Along with these research skills, they were able to further develop professional skills by organizing and overseeing a panel discussion to present the findings of their report. Courtney said that through the practicum, she learned so much through the process of researching and preparing the report and by working with her teammates and hearing other perspectives. The team agreed that they will undoubtedly utilize and improve the practical skills they gained through the practicum throughout their careers as the case with Matthew who was able to turn the practicum into a full-time summer internship with Clean Water Action.

Read the full report here.

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