Environmental Groups Sue To Stop Oil Companies From Injecting Industrial Waste Into California’s Water Supply

Environmental Groups Sue To Stop Oil Companies From Injecting Industrial Waste Into California’s Water Supply

Against the backdrop of California’s historic drought, two environmental groups filed a lawsuit Thursday demanding that the state stop allowing oil industry wastewater to be injected into protected, clean aquifers.

In response to an investigation showing the California Department of Conservation has been allowing oil companies to inject waste into clean water sources for years, the department, named in the suit, only issued a “emergency rulemaking action” that allows the wastewater injections to continue until 2017.

The lawsuit, filed by Earthjustice on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, asks that the action be invalidated and that the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources be forced to immediately stop the continued wastewater injections.

 “Everyone agrees they are illegally operating injection wells,” Center for Biological Diversity attorney Hollin Kretzmann. “The Safe Drinking Water Act is clear and prohibits this type of activity.”

Wastewater from oil and gas drilling can contain heavy metals, radioactive material, and chemicals like arsenic and benzene. Injection wells, where toxic substances are pumped deep underground, have been used for hazardous material disposal for decades, but an investigation by ProPublica in 2012 found that “structural failures inside injection wells are routine” and pose a tremendous health risk.

The state division responsible for regulating injection wells denies that the approximately 2,500 improperly-permitted wells pose a risk.

“As we’ve said before, the protection of California’s groundwater resources – as well as public health — is paramount, particularly in this time of extreme drought. The state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are moving aggressively and quickly to test all wells that risk harming sources of water for drinking and agriculture,” California State Oil and Gas Supervisor Steven Bohlen, head of the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources.

“Thus far, testing of water supply wells by the State Water Resources Control Board has revealed no contamination of water used for drinking or agricultural purposes related to underground injection by the oil and gas industry. We intend to keep it that way,” he said.

He also noted that the department has shut down 23 wells but said it was done “out of an abundance of caution.”

See also: California will run out of water very soon

California is under intense pressure from five years of drought. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has passed historic water-conservation regulations, mostly targeting California residents and municipalities. Scientists estimate the state needs 11 trillion gallons of water to end the drought.

California produces about 17,000 barrels of oil a month. At a rate of roughly eight barrels of water per barrel of oil, that means California’s oil industry uses more than 51 billion gallons of water each year.

At least one company, Chevron, has been selling its wastewater to California’s drought-stricken farmers. The water has been treated, but independent testing has also found dangerous contaminants such as acetone and methylene chloride, as well as crude oil, in wastewater Chevron sold for irrigation purposes.

The other option is injection wells.

“In California, we don’t have the luxury of saying certain water is high priority and certain water is low priority,” Kretzmann said. “It’s all high priority right now.”

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants Or Solar Panels

A new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in...

China Is Turning The Rainforest Into Cheap Furniture For The U.S.

Driven by American demand for cheap furniture, China has become the greatest importer of illegal timber. The...

History of life on Earth – Big Five mass extinction events

Although the Cretaceous-Tertiary (or K-T) extinction event is the most well-known because it wiped out the dinosaurs, a series of other mass extinction events...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants Or Solar Panels

A new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in...

Ecuador Set To Sell One Third Of Pristine Rainforest To Chinese Oil Companies

In a move that could simultaneously ease the debt of Ecuador and deliver a huge blow to rainforest conservation efforts, Ecuador is set to...

Check Out Adidas 3D Printed Sneakers Made From Plastic Trash From The Ocean

Adidas has teamed up with Parley for the Oceans, an organization dedicated to reducing plastic waste, to create a 3D printed shoe that is,...

Leonardo DiCaprio Throws $7 Million Into the Ocean

Leonardo DiCaprio gives $7 million to save the world's oceans Leonardo DiCaprio, an actor best known for his roles in Titanic and Catch Me If...

5 Cancer Facts that Conventional Medicine Wants You to Believe are Myths

According to the conventional wisdom of mainstream medicine, the world’s leading health practitioners in alternative, complementary and integrative medicine have it all wrong and...

This Company’s Solar Roof Is 33% Cheaper Than Tesla’s – And Is Installed In Half The Time

In recent weeks, Tesla has received copious amounts of attention for its new solar roofs – and for good reason. However, what if we were...

Costco Is Buying Over A Thousand Acres Of Land For Local Farmers To Grow Organic Produce

It may come as a surprise that Costco is one of the largest distributors of organic food products in the United States. In fact, according...

Russia and China Prepare for Global War

Both countries want peace, not war. America threatens them. Defensive readiness is prioritized. Forewarned is forearmed. NATO’s a global alliance. Washington heads it. It’s...