Stop Oil Companies from Dumping Toxic Wastewater

The oil industry is putting our water at risk by dumping wastewater into open pits. TAKE ACTION NOW to end this shortsighted and dangerous practice.

Across the Central Valley, 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 let the toxic wastewater leak into the ground and evaporate into the air.

San Francisco Stepping Up to Keep Drugs Out of the Bay

Early in the new year, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on an ordinance requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to pay for and implement convenient programs for consumers to dispose of unused and out of date medications.  This comes on the heels of a 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals decision upholding a similar ordinance adopted by Alameda County in 2012 against an industry attack.  Not surprisingly, the industry opposes a new ordinance in San Francisco despite the fact that when companies band together and support proper disposal – like they do in Canada – it costs so little per bottle, they haven’t raised drug prices.

Learn more here

NEW Report: Oil Industry waste disposal into unlined pits threatens California's water and air

In the Pits - Oil and Gas Wastewater Disposal into Open Unlined Pits and the Threat to California’s Water and AirClean 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form of waste disposal despite the fact that they are aware that many of these operations have inadequate and severely out of date permits, and that some are creating huge underground plumes of wastewater that threaten nearby drinking and irrigation water.

Oil, Gas and Fracking in California

In the Pits

As the fourth largest oil producing state in the country, California must responsibly manage the massive waste stream generated by the oil and gas sector. This report examines the risks to California water and air quality associated with just one part of this waste stream: oil and gas wastewater disposal into open-air and unlined pits. 

Protect Groundwater Today!

The 2014 groundwater legislation that Clean Water Action helped pass was a big victory for California! But there’s still work to be done to ensure that California has a sustainable supply of groundwater to support our future water needs.  

One major gap is the lack of information about groundwater aquifers.  Take action to make information for our groundwater available to the public.

Learn more here.

Unlocking Secrets about California’s Groundwater

California’s drought has depleted California’s reservoirs. It has also had a huge impact on our precious groundwater basins, causing hundreds of wells to go dry and leaving us more vulnerable to future droughts.  In normal years, groundwater represents up to 40% of California’s water supply (that rises to 50% or more in droughts).  In this extreme drought, our groundwater levels have been dropping at an unprecedented rate – up to 200 feet in some areas.

Recognizing that overpumping of groundwater puts California in grave danger, the Legislature passed new laws in 2014 that will for the first time require groundwater to be sustainably managed. Clean Water Action fought hard to pass this legislation.  It’s a great victory!

Implementing these new laws and putting a halt to the over-pumping and contamination of groundwater will be difficult.  One significant obstacle is the secrecy surrounding groundwater data.  

Keeping drugs out of California’s waterways: Clean Water Action’s Safe Drug Disposal Program

We Can Keep Drugs Out of CA's Waterways

We are fortunate to live at a time when medical advances, including the development of antibiotics and other types of drugs, have enhanced and lengthened human life. Unused medications, however, pose some risks to human health and the environment that are not widely recognized. When they get into the wrong hands, unused medications can lead to drug abuse and accidental poisonings. Pharmaceuticals are also ending up in our waterways, including drinking water sources.

That is why Clean Water Action has joined with local government, wastewater professionals, senior citizen advocates, and those concerned with drug abuse to stop unused or out of date drugs from getting into the environment or into the hands of those who will misuse them.

Governor Brown’s Proactive Climate Change Position Needs to Focus More on Oil Drilling

In his inaugural address, Governor Brown promised to continue California's leadership on clean power by mandating that California's energy grid include at least 50 percent renewables by 2030 by expanding programs like rooftop solar, distributed generation, microgrids, and more. Clean Water Action applauds the Governor's leadership on clean energy and implores him to go even further. State Director Miriam Gordon released this statement:

"We are thrilled that Governor Brown has his sights set on reducing climate pollution. The Governor clearly understands that inaction on climate threatens our communities and families and he has charted a good course for the state. We look forward to working with Governor Brown to achieve the goals he has laid out.

Published On: 
01/06/2015 - 07:22

Take Action to Stop Dumping Oil and Gas Wastewater into Open Pits!

CWARoundButtonBlueTakeAction.pngYou'll never believe what the oil industry is doing with their toxic wastewater! Across the Central Valley, already the home of California's most severe water shortages, polluted groundwater, and the worst air quality in the country, Big Oil is dumping its wastewater into open and unlined pits.  Full of harmful chemicals, like cancer-causing benzene and crop-killing boron, this  wastewater  leaches toxic chemicals  into the ground and evaporates volatile organic chemicals into the air.

Crazy right?! Take Action Today!

Time for Big Pharma to Pay their Share

Pill bottlesThe San Francisco Board of Supervisors is considering an ordinance requiring drug manufacturers to collect unused medications.  We need Mayor Lee to support it too - click here to send him a message!

When unused meds are flushed or thrown in the trash they get into local waterways, including San Francisco Bay and drinking water sources.  When stockpiled in the home, they can cause unintentional poisoning by youth and the elderly.
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