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Help Stop the Oil and Gas Industry from Polluting Our Local Rivers, Lakes and Bays

Take action now and tell EPA you support a full prohibition on unconventional oil and gas wastewater being sent to publically owned treatment works.

Now is the time to update the the rules to reflect the new environmental threats of modern oil and gas operations. Take action today.

The Aquifer Exemption Program

Executive Summary

A little known provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Underground Injection Control (UIC) program allows certain oil and gas and mining activity to occur in groundwater that would otherwise be protected as a drinking water source. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the program in the early days of SDWA implementation to respond to oil and gas interests who cited SDWA language which states that EPA “may not prescribe requirements for state UIC programs which interfere with or impede” the injection of fluids associated with oil and gas production. Extraction proponents argued that certain energy extraction activities would not be able to continue if all underground sources of drinking water everywhere were protected. As a result, an aquifer is now eligible for an exemption if it meets certain regulatory criteria.

Regulating Oil & Gas Activities to Protect Drinking Water

When the U.S. Congress first passed the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)  in 1974,  it authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a program to protect vital under- ground drinking water resources from risks of industrial activities in which fluid is injected
into the ground. However, Congress also included language mandating that EPA not “interfere with or impede” oil and gas production unless it is “absolutely essential” in order to protect underground sources of drinking water.

The regulatory and legislative history of the SDWA Underground Injection Control Program (UIC) demonstrates the impact of this language on the UIC program’s evolution.

One Step Closer to Protecting All Water

A long overdue proposal to protect most streams and wetlands, released by the Obama administration in March 2014, will ensure that the drinking water for nearly one third of all Americans is no longer at risk of pollution.  Make sure your voice is heard today! President Obama  needs to know that you want to protect our water!

Learn more:

Local Officials Support the Rule to Protect Clean Water

The War on Water Returns

Diverse Voice Speak Out to Protect Clean Water

The Science of Water - Simple and Complex

Click here to speak your mind and tell the President to Protect Clean Water now.

You + Me + Congress = Action on Climate and Energy Legislation!

post by Christine LeMieux, Global Warming and Energy Programs Coordinator

While media headlines as of late are dominated by the latest healthcare happenings on the Hill, progress on climate and energy legislation continues. Both issues are related to critical questions about how we will take care of our public health and our economy in the coming decades. Over the past month, 6 Senate committees have held hearings and action is expected after Congress returns from recess in September. 

Stopping the Oil and Gas Industry from Polluting Our Local Rivers, Lakes and Bays

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is updating a 30 year old Clean Water Act program which regulates what type of waste oil and gas companies can send to sewer treatment plants, or publically owned treatment works (POTWs) for disposal. In the past oil and gas companies have sent millions of gallons of their wastewater to these sewage treatment plants, which then discharge it to our rivers, lakes and bays.

But "unconventional" operations - activities like fracking and other modern technologies that enable the industry to access previously untapped reserves of oil and gas -  produce a different type of waste. Which is a problem. These plants were never designed to treat this new type of wastewater.

Clean Water Currents | Spring 2015

clean water currents
spring 2015 edition

Defending Clean Water

Bottom line for our water: a strong Clean Water Rule must be in place before the end of 2015.

The rule is needed to restore fundamental Clean Water Act protections, clarifying once and for all what resources will be covered under the law. Until the rule is finalized, small streams and wetlands — including drinking water sources for more than one in three Americans — remain vulnerable to pollution and development.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency received 860,000 comments in support of this common-sense proposal. This outpouring of public sentiment in favor of clean water follows millions more calls, letters, emails and petition signatures mobilized by Clean Water Action and allies — more than on any other clean water issue — through our decade-long campaign. Read more

Oppose The Enzi Budget (S. Con. Res. 11) & Position On Key Environmental Amendments

ALASKA WILDERNESS LEAGUE * AMERICAN FORESTS * AMERICAN RIVERS * CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY * CLEAN WATER ACTION * DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE * EARTHJUSTICE * EARTHWORKS * ENVIRONMENT AMERICA * ENDANGERED SPECIES COALITION * ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND * FRIENDS OF THE EARTH * GREENPEACE * LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS * NATIONAL
AUDUBON SOCIETY * NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL * OCEANA * OCEAN CONSERVANCY * SIERRA CLUB * SOUTHERN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTER * SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE * THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY

March 26, 2015

OPPOSE THE ENZI BUDGET (S. CON. RES. 11) & POSITION ON KEY ENVIRONMENTAL AMENDMENTS

Dear Senator:

Comment Letter on Revised GHG Guidance - 3/25/15

Center for Biological Diversity * Center for Food Safety
Center for International Environmental Law * Clean Water Action * Conservation Colorado Defenders of Wildlife * Earthjustice * EPIC – Environmental Protection Information Center Friends of the Bitterroot * Friends of the Earth * Grand Canyon Trust * Greenpeace Information Network for Responsible Mining * Klamath Forest Alliance * KyotoUSA League of Conservation Voters * Montana Environmental Information Center
National Wildlife Federation * Natural Resources Defense Council * Oregon Wild
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