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.
WHAT: Clean Water Action will be honoring local environmental champions during #EarthWeek at its 29th annual conference, #Act4CleanWater, taking place Saturday, April 25 at Brookdale Community College. www.cleanwateraction.org/act4cleanwater
The awardees include:
LANSING – Today, leaders in Lansing introduced a package of bills that would increase Michigan’s renewable energy standard to 20 percent by 2022.
“Coming on the heels of Earth Day, this step forward in protecting and preserving our Great Lakes and environment for future generations is a welcome announcement,” said Nic Clark, state director of Clean Water Action. “We applaud our legislators for working to keep our communities healthy and strong.”
The bills contrast sharply with legislation introduced In March that would corrupt Michigan’s renewable energy standard by classifying burning hazardous waste like tires and trash as clean energy.
LANSING – Representatives Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores), Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor), Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline), and Tom Cochran (D-Mason) today introduced a package of bills to call for more state oversight for oil and gas pipelines throughout Michigan. The bills aim to enhance pipeline safety and increase protection for the people and natural resources of our state. Robert Gordon of the Michigan Sierra Club and Nic Clark of Clean Water Action also spoke in support of the proposed legislation at a press conference on the Capitol steps.
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ - Today concerned citizens from across the state joined together at Governor Christie's town hall meeting to oppose his administration's proposed settlement agreement with Exxon Mobil. Outraged residents called on the Governor to reject the deal, which would allow the corporation to pay pennies on the dollar for natural resource damages after decades of pollution. The state originally requested $8.9 billion, but is now proposing to accept $225 million.
Annapolis, MD--In the first session of a 4 year term which saw 68 new legislators and a new Republican Governor, Clean Water Action successfully advanced protections for the state’s water resources and the health of its communities.
The 2015 session began with bills to repeal the 2012 Watershed Protection and Restoration Act, the state moving to permit fracking in western Maryland, and the withdrawal of phosphorous management regulations by the recently elected Governor. Years of environmental policy and advocacy work for water resource protections and programs appeared to be under siege.