toxics

Connie and Mel: Fracking Frontlines

Connie nd Mel - Fracking FrontlinesTheir names are Connie and Mel, they live in Windsor.

This is their story.

"They have not even considered the consequences of their actions on nearby residents, which will include the impact on our health, damage to our roads, dust, noise, polluting the air we breathe and the water we drink, not to mention a decline in our property values.

We live about two miles from another drilling site, and when our windows are open, we can hear the noise caused by the drilling and smell the emissions.

During burn-off, the formerly beautiful night sky is no longer...it is all lit up, causing an eerie sight. It is unimaginable what a drilling operation within 700 feet of my home would be!

Water Supplies Sacrificed for Oil & Gas Industry Profit, Report Finds (Texas Release)

Austin, TX – Provisions of the federal law originally intended to protect drinking water are instead being used to allow oil, gas and uranium mining industry activities that would otherwise be illegal, according a report released today by Clean Water Action. This first-ever analysis of a critical Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) program found widespread sacrifice of underground water resources (aquifers) that could otherwise be used for drinking water in the future.

Published On: 
01/06/2015 - 13:07

The Aquifer Exemption Program

Executive Summary

A little known provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Underground Injection Control (UIC) program allows certain oil and gas and mining activity to occur in groundwater that would otherwise be protected as a drinking water source. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the program in the early days of SDWA implementation to respond to oil and gas interests who cited SDWA language which states that EPA “may not prescribe requirements for state UIC programs which interfere with or impede” the injection of fluids associated with oil and gas production. Extraction proponents argued that certain energy extraction activities would not be able to continue if all underground sources of drinking water everywhere were protected. As a result, an aquifer is now eligible for an exemption if it meets certain regulatory criteria.

Regulating Oil & Gas Activities to Protect Drinking Water

When the U.S. Congress first passed the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)  in 1974,  it authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a program to protect vital under- ground drinking water resources from risks of industrial activities in which fluid is injected
into the ground. However, Congress also included language mandating that EPA not “interfere with or impede” oil and gas production unless it is “absolutely essential” in order to protect underground sources of drinking water.

The regulatory and legislative history of the SDWA Underground Injection Control Program (UIC) demonstrates the impact of this language on the UIC program’s evolution.

Austin Runoff Election Endorsements

Happy holidays! Please join Clean Water in celebrating democracy and the holidays by voting in the Austin mayoral and city council runoff elections! Early voting lasts through Friday December 12, and election day is Tuesday December 16.

Clean Water Members lplayed a key role electing Ann Kitchen, Kathie Tovo, and Delia Garza in November, and helped carry most of our other endorsed council candidates into these runoffs.

We need your help to finish the job!

Clean Water Action Endorses:

Holding the Task Force Accountable

The Colorado Oil and Gas Task Force was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper in August of 2014. The 21-member Task Force is comprised of an equal number of representatives from the oil and gas industry, the environmental and impacted communities, and a group of neutral experts. They are responsible for making a series of policy recommendations to the State Legislature concerning the surface impacts of oil and gas development and concerning other residential impacts.

5 Simple Things that Governor Tom Wolf can do for Pennsylvania’s Environment

In the last four years, Governor Corbett and the Pennsylvania House and Senate have made repeated attacks on environmental protection and sought to maximize the profits of the gas, oil and coal industries at the expense of Pennsylvania’s health and safety.

Your Vote is Your Voice - General Elections Endorsements in New Hampshire

Clean Water Action has endorsed Jeanne Shaheen for re-election to the US Senate and Annie Kuster for re-election to the US House of Representatives.

All three have 100% pro environment voting records on Clean Water Action’s recent legislative Scorecard.  Sen. Shaheen in particular has been a leader in pushing for more efficient use of energy to fight climate change, spearheading a bi-partisan bill to promote energy efficiency.

Colorado Currents - Fall 2014

Colorado Currents

Fall 2014 Edition 

Blue Ribbon Oil and Gas Task Force Gets Underway

In August, Governor Hickenlooper announced the creation of the state commissioned Blue Ribbon Oil and Gas Task Force. The Task force is charged with making policy recommendations focused on state and local regulations of oil and gas operations. The task force is comprised of an equal number of representatives from affected communities, the environmental community, civic organizations, agriculture, and the oil and gas industry. The task force will make its policy recommendations in late February 2015.

The creation of the task force was the result of a compromise between two ballot initiative campaigns proposing both pro- and anti-oil and gas amendments to the Colorado constitution. Rep. Jared Polis was backing two of these initiatives. One would have given local governments more control over oil and gas development within their borders. The second initiative would have mandated a 2,000 foot setback rule — keeping drill sites at least 2,000 feet from homes. Additionally, the oil and gas industry was offering two ballot initiatives that would have taken local control away from municipalities and blocked communities attempting to regulate oil and gas operations from receiving oil and gas tax revenues. Read more 

Michigan Currents - Fall 2014

Michigan Currents

Fall 2014 Edition 

On the Environment: Snyder Fails

Clean Water Action’s scorecard for Gov. Rick Snyder’s first term highlights his failure to safeguard Michigan’s environment. “As someone who just wants to have their water and drink it too,” says Clean Water Action’s Denny Green, “the Governor couldn’t have done much worse on the environment if he’d tried.”

Gov. Snyder received a failing grade based on actions he took (or failed to take) on fourteen different bills, coming up on the wrong side twelve times. “This subpar performance, nearly a 90% rate of failure, is shameful for the governor of a state literally defined by its Great Lakes,” Green says. Read more

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