We are working to ensure that aquifers that could be used for drinking water are not sacrificed to the fossil fuel industry. Aquifer exemptions prioritize the fossil fuel industry over drinking water by writing off groundwater forever.
A New Report from Clean Water Action Provides a Roadmap to Better Protect Water from Oil and Gas Production
“For decades, the fossil fuel industry has exploited loopholes in the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts, allowing these companies to profit at the expense of our water and communities."
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.
The majority of oil and gas wastewater in California is injected underground putting our aquifers at risk.