Oil, Gas, and Drinking Water
Keeping Fracking Waste out of Rivers, Lakes and Streams
First, Clean Water Action wrapped up an extensive campaign in support of EPA’s update to a 30-year-old Clean Water Act program that regulates oil and gas wastewater discharges to sewage treatment plants, or publicly owned treatment works (POTWs).
This is important because in the past, oil and gas companies have sent millions of gallons of wastewater to these plants, which then discharge it to local rivers, lakes, and streams.
The problem is that these sewage plants are not able to adequately treat wastewater coming from fracking and other unconventional oil and gas operations. The industry’s latest techniques for extracting previously unreachable oil and gas also generate large volumes of difficult to treat wastewater.
This wastewater typically contains extreme salt levels, heavy metals, benzene, chemical additives from the fracturing fluid, radioactive elements, and other harmful pollutants. The pollutants can jam up or slip through the treatment process. After a few high profile treatment failures, EPA recognized the need to update the Clean Water Act Effluent Limitations Guidelines which regulate these wastewater discharges. Read more
On January 19, 2016 President Obama vetoed a resolution from Congress that would have repealed new, commonsense policies to better protect streams and wetlands from pollution.
Small streams and wetlands are vital because they feed into our nation’s rivers, lakes and bays and are sources of drinking water for 1 and 3 Americans.
Thank the President today! Take action HERE.
The oil and gas industry is carelessly leaking millions of tons of methane pollution and toxic chemicals into the air that harm our health and speed up climate change. These industrial leaks are like an invisible oil spill happening every day and the oil and gas industry is getting away with it. We need stronger Methane Pollution Standards that will protect Americans with low-cost safeguards that already exist to clean up pollution from oil and gas sites.
Thankfully, EPA proposed new standards, which would combat the devastating climate and health impacts from methane and VOC pollution from NEW oil and gas facilities. Right now EXISTING oil and gas facilities are exempt from the rule and account for the vast majority of current methane emissions.
Send a message to Gina McCarthy and let her know that you want strong standards for ALL sources of methane pollution before President Obama leaves office - click here.