Washington, DC – Provisions of the federal law originally intended to protect drinking water are instead being used to allow oil, gas and uranium mining industry activities that would otherwise be illegal, according a report released today by Clean Water Action. This first-ever analysis of a critical Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) program found widespread sacrifice of underground water resources (aquifers) that could otherwise be used for drinking water in the future.
The Aquifer Exemption program allows injection directly into once protected aquifers and essentially “writes off” potential groundwater sources.
“In light of concerns about water quality and ongoing drought, which have only been exacerbated over the last three decades, the Aquifer Exemption Program should involve the highest level of scrutiny and transparency. But that is not what our research has found - and water resources have been put at risk,” said John Noël, Clean Water Action National Oil and Gas Campaigns Coordinator.