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!

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.

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.

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:

Californians At Risk

To the more than 5 million Californians living within a mile of oil and gas wells, the Golden State is oil country. Tens of thousands of active wells produce nearly 200 million barrels of oil every year, making California the third largest oil producing state in the country. Despite the fact that so many people live near oil and gas facilities, neither the industry nor the State have adequately investigated the impacts on public health. No extensive studies have been conducted to determine how communities and people living close to oil and gas in California are affected.

To  understand the impacts of oil and gas development on California communities Clean Water Action and our allies at Earthworks studied health and air contaminants in two communities in the heart of oil country - Lost Hills in Kern County, and Upper Ojai in Ventura County.

State lawmakers slam oil regulators after embarrassing lapses

The 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.
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Obama's regulations on fracking don't satisfy either side in Kern County

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - The White House has released new regulations that will impact hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – wells across the United States.

Kern County has more fracking than anywhere else in California, and it’s been going on for more than half a century.

Now, President Barack Obama wants it regulated nationwide.

Hydraulic fracturing is a controversial process that sparked an oil boom in the United States. Many people have suspicions that it’s also sparked a huge public health risk.

“There’s no proven or no determination that there's been any environmental harm from hydraulic fracturing,” said Nick Ortiz of the Western States Petroleum Association.
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