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In the Pits - Oil and Gas Wastewater Disposal into Open Unlined Pits and the Threat to California’s Water and Air - Images

In the Pits

Oil and Gas Wastewater Disposal into Open Unlined Pits and the Threat to California’s Water and Air

TAKE ACTION today to help shut down oil and gas waste pits! 

Get the Fact sheet here. 

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. The investigation that preceded this report found a long-term ongoing failure on the part of regulatory entities tasked with protecting public health and the environment to properly monitor and restrict the use of these pits, despite demonstrated threats to public health and the environment.

Water Bond wins big on Election night!

Clean Water Candidates – election results
  • Proposition 1 – Water Bond - WON
  • San Jose Mayor – Sam Liccardo - WINNER
  • East Bay Municipal Utilities District Ward 3 -  Marguerite Young - WINNER
US House of Representatives
  • District 2 – Jared Huffman - WINNER
  • District 11 – Mark DeSaulnier - WINNER
  • District 17 – Mike Honda - WINNER
CA State Senate
  • District 2 – Mark McGuire - WINNER
  • District 6 – Roger Dickinson - LOST
CA State Assembly
  • District 2 – Jim Wood - WINNER
  • District 7 – Steve Cohn - LOST
  • District 10 – Marc Levine - WINNER
  • District 15 – Tony Thurmond - WINNER
  • District 16 – Tim Sbranti - LOST
  • District 25 – Kansen Chu - WINNER

California voters overwhelmingly approved a $7.5billion water bond that will protect and improve water supplies and water quality, protect the environment and ensure safe drinking water for California residents.  Clean Water Action will be on hand as this bond is implemented to ensure that only the most beneficial projects receive taxpayer dollars. 

Clean Water Action endorsed the water bond – you probably heard from us at least once asking you to vote yes on Proposition 1 – so thank you for your help!

Clean Water Action also endorsed candidates in key races. Check out the text box to the right to see the status of your candidate.  We’ll update it as new results come in.

2013-2014 California Legislative Scorecard

A Clean Water Perspective on the 2013-2014 Legislative Session

The 2013-2014 session had an uncertain start as 38  freshman legislators took office, but ended on a high note as many Clean Water priorities – including a first-in the nation statewide ban on plastic bags and historic groundwater legislation – were adopted by an increasingly effective Legislature.

Six of 2013’s freshmen legislators – Assembly members Bloom, Chau, Gomez, Nazarian, Rendon and Stone - became Clean Water Champions in their first term, with Richard Bloom, Anthony Rendon and Mark Stone also authoring Clean Water Action priority bills.  Revised and extended term limits approved by the voters in 2012 (Proposition 28) mean that we can look forward to working with these champions of clean water for several more years.

Unlined Pits in Kern County CA

California Currents - Fall 2014

California Currents

Fall 2014 Edition 

Bag Ban Victory

On September 30, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the first state legislation banning single use plastic bags — a huge victory for the environment! Hawaii has a defacto statewide ban as each island has passed a local ordinance banning single-use plastic bags.

Over the last nine years, similar measures failed to pass in California, but steady growing support organized by Clean Water Action and allies made the winning difference this time. The 121 local bag ban ordinances enacted around the state — many with Clean Water Action’s assistance — combined with grassroots pressure on state lawmakers to push the measure through, finally. Other states are now likely to follow California’s lead, passing their own bag bans. Read more

Oil and Gas Wastewater Disposal: Unlined Pits

Click here for printable fact sheet on unlined pits

The oil and gas industry  uses unlined percolation and evaporation ponds to dispose of millions of gallons of oil and gas wastewater in California every day. Unlined pits are designed to percolate oil and gas wastewater into the ground and evaporate it into the air. This disposal method presents immediate threats to groundwater and air quality.  Wastewater that percolates from surface pits can migrate to underground aquifers used for drinking and irrigation and the evaporation of produced water off-gases climate harming methane, volatile organic chemicals, benzene, and other hydrocarbon-associated air contaminants.
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