Water regulators' plan fails to protect groundwater from oil companies’ toxic discharges into open pits

After decades of failing to enforce state laws meant to protect California's groundwater from oil industry discharges, regulators have announced a new plan to oversee oil and gas wastewater disposal into open pits, also known as sumps. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (the Regional Board) announced Thursday that it will begin to more actively oversee this disposal method. Clean Water Action said the plan does not go far enough and called for a statewide prohibition on oil sumps.

Published On: 
02/05/2015 - 14:13

Californians At Risk

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 endangers California’s future, 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!

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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