Tuesday, April 21, 2015

State Allows Continued Underground Injection of Fracking Wastewater into Aquifers

California’s Office of Administrative Law Monday approved regulations allowing oil companies to continue injecting wastewater from oil and gas operations into protected underground water sources. The Jerry Brown administration’s emergency regulations for controlling underground of oil waste are set to take effect immediately and continue for two years. Hundreds of oil wells will continue to pollute groundwater that is protected under state and federal law. Last month the federal Environmental Protection Agency threatened to take over underground injection oversight if the state did not move to safeguard the state’s aquifers. The state did issue new guidelines but has only taken action to stop underground injection in 23 wells. According to state water officials the practice is contaminating aquifers that, once polluted, cannot be cleaned up. Pacifica’s Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.