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Clean Water Action has released a new report exposing the threats to air and water from oil wastewater disposal into open-air and unlined pits. Across the Central Valley of California, already the home of severe water shortages, degraded groundwater and the worst air quality in the country, Big Oil is dumping wastewater containing a mixture of harmful chemicals, including volatile organic compounds and heavy metals, into unlined and open-air pits. These pits are designed both to percolate the toxic wastewater into the ground and evaporate it into the air. California water and air regulators have allowed this form of waste disposal despite the fact that they are aware that many of these operations have inadequate and severely out of date permits, and that some are creating huge underground plumes of wastewater that threaten nearby drinking and irrigation water.
The 2013-2014 session had an uncertain start as 38 freshman legislators took office, but ended on a high note as many Clean Water priorities – including a first-in the nation statewide ban on plastic bags and historic groundwater legislation – were adopted by an increasingly effective Legislature.
Six of 2013’s freshmen legislators – Assembly members Bloom, Chau, Gomez, Nazarian, Rendon and Stone - became Clean Water Champions in their first term, with Richard Bloom, Anthony Rendon and Mark Stone also authoring Clean Water Action priority bills. Revised and extended term limits approved by the voters in 2012 (Proposition 28) mean that we can look forward to working with these champions of clean water for several more years.
Along with thousands of concerned Californians, we are fighting to protect California from the dangers of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and other risky well stimulation processes like acidizing. You can join your neighbors, friends, and family to make sure we understand the risks of fracking, protect our communities, health, and water, and ensure that we don't undermine our climate and clean energy goals.
For more information, visit this page.
Click here to tell your legislators and Governor Brown that we need a moratorium on fracking and other dangerous oil and gas extraction processes. California needs to put a halt to this dangerous practice until it has been proven safe. We need strong legislative action and leadership from our lawmakers.
Send a message now to your elected officials now!
Clean Water Action is working to protect California from the dangers of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Across the country, communities are suffering from health impacts related to fracking including: contaminated drinking water and polluted air, degradation of local waterways, and decreased property values. In most states, fracking operations are designed to extract natural gas reserves. In California, it’s all about oil.
Manufacturing products with less toxic materials and promoting the development of "green chemistry" can not only protect our communities, workers, and ecosystems, but can actually save businesses money, increase efficiency, reduce liability, and give them a competitive advantage as other parts of the world regulate the use of toxic materials.
As California enters its third consecutive dry year, water conservation is a popular topic - television, newspapers, billboards, and radio messages are telling us to conserve water because of the drought.
Clean Water Action agrees that we should practice additional conservation during times of drought. But California's is a dry climate that is expected to become dryer still as the impacts of climate change intensify. This drought gives us an opportunity to rethink our attitudes about and our overall use of water.