2015 Legislative Priorities Update

Groundwater and the Drought

SB 20 (Pavley): Last year’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) was passed in response to record levels of overpumping groundwater  that have caused hundreds of wells to go dry and caused ground subsidence in some parts of the state. In the State Assembly, more than a dozen bills have been introduced to limit the scope of the groundwater legislation or delay its already slow implementation. Senator Pavley, on the other hand has introduced a bill that will help implement SGMA. SB 20 addresses a long-standing problem in state law that makes it illegal for the state to release critical information to the public.

Oil and Gas Wastewater Reform Needed

Take Action!
Kern River Field

Kern River oil field, Bakersfield, CA (Sarah Craig, Faces of Fracking)

As California faces one of the worst droughts in recorded history, State officials have disclosed that they have for many decades allowed oil and gas companies to inject oil and gas wastewater and other contaminated fluids into aquifers that may suitable to be used as drinking water. Oil and gas wastewater is nasty stuff, high in salinity, toxic chemicals and sometimes containing radioactive material. New data has revealed that the wastewater from fracking in California contains cancer-causing benzene and other toxic chemicals hundreds of times the legal limit for drinking water.

Help Solve the Drought - Take Action to Protect Groundwater

California Drought - Dry RiverbedThe 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.

Support Your Right to Know!

Clean Water Action is a champion of greater public disclosure about chemicals in products that we are all exposed to every day, especially when those chemicals are toxic and cause human and/or environmental harm.  We need your help today to get 3 bills passed in California that will do just that.

Take action right now!

A Huge Victory for Our Water in California and Across the Nation

Oakland - Today the Obama administration released its long awaited Clean Water Rule. The rule closes loopholes that have left the drinking water sources for more than 1 in 5 Californians at risk of pollution and destruction. Today's release of the Clean Water Rule is the culmination of more than 12 years of advocacy by Clean Water Action, its members, and its allies.

Clean Water Action's California Director, Miriam Gordon, released this statement:

Published On: 
05/27/2015 - 14:55

Support AB 356 to Protect Aquifers from Drilling

Support AB 356 Today! The drought is on everyone's mind, and all Californians are being asked to conserve water. Oil companies however, are continuing to put drinking water aquifers at risk. As new data emerges, it seems every few weeks  more disturbing facts come to light about oil and gas injection wells that may polluting good groundwater. 

"California officials have identified 260 oil company wastewater injection wells that are so shallow or so close to wells used for drinking or irrigation that they could threaten the state’s precious groundwater supplies, new data show." – San Francisco Chronicle May 18, 2015

Take action to make sure that oil companies can no longer inject into potential drinking or irrigation water sources!

Ban Plastic Microbeads in California!

A single tube of facial cleanser or toothpaste can contain 3,500 plastic microbeads, which are used as exfoliants or simply to add color.  These beads  are rinsed down the sink or shower drain and end up being sent to sewage treatment plants that are not designed to remove floating plastics. Approximately 38 tons of plastic microbead pollution are discharged into California’s waterways and the ocean every year.  Take action today!

Shut Down Illegal Wells Today!

CWARoundButtonBlueTakeAction.pngJoin us today in calling on Governor Brown to shut down all illegal injection wells!

In 2011 US EPA put DOGGR on notice for numerous shortcomings in their implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class II program. That’s the regulatory program that oversees oil and gas injection projects. DOGGR took over primacy of that program in 1983 and has been running it ever since. The 2011 critique cited inadequate geologic review, bad record keeping, and not enough expert staff to carry out inspections.

Catwalk for Clean Water

California Issues Emergency Regulations on Oil and Gas Injection Aquifer Exemptions - Clean Water Action Responds

April 2, 2015. Sacramento, CA - Today, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) issued draft emergency regulations on aquifer exemptions under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The emergency regulations describe the process that the state will use for submitting applications to US EPA for exempting aquifers which enable oil and gas companies to inject fluids for waste disposal or enhance oil recovery (EOR). The text of the draft regulations and how to submit a comment can be viewed here.

Clean Water Action issued the following  statement in response:
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