California

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

Thanks to the support of our local members who wrote letters to their County Supervisors, San Francisco has passed an ordinance requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to pay for and implement convenient programs for consumers to dispose of unused and out of date medications.  Special thanks also goes to Supervisor London Breed, who led the fight to get the ordinance passed, and the staff at the Department of the Environment who will be implementing the new law.  

In late March, Mayor Ed Lee signed the ordinance into law.   This victory for San Francisco Bay and public safety 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 opposed 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. 

Catwalk for Clean Water

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:

San Mateo: Help Keep Drugs Out of Your Water

Loose pillsPharmaceuticals are detected  in waterbodies such as San Francisco Bay, as well as drinking water sources.  These chemicals are linked to serious impacts a aquatic wildlife, including reproductive harm, feminization of species, behavioral changes, and even death.  Part of the problem is improper disposal, such as flushing unused drugs down the toilet or putting them in the trash.  Either way, they end up in the waste system and are making their way into our water.

Take action now!

And come to the Board of Supervisors Hearing on April 14th at 1:30. Click here for more information.

Californians At Risk

State lawmakers slam oil regulators after embarrassing lapses

he agency that regulates the oil industry in California is — by its own admission — in disarray. After a series of embarrassing disclosures about regulatory lapses that allowed drilling in protected aquifers, officials at the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources are trying to untangle years of chaotic operation.

But the fixes aren’t happening fast enough to satisfy many state lawmakers. In recent weeks, elected officials have publicly chided the agency, launched their own investigations and introduced at least a half-dozen bills that aim to recast DOGGR’s mission to prioritize protecting public health and the environment over promoting energy development.
Published Date: 
03/26/2015
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