Condemn Bureaucratic Oversight that Resulted in Aquifer Pollution


Target: John Marshall, California Department of Conservation Chief Deputy Director

Goal: Condemn bureaucratic oversight that contaminated invaluable aquifers

In California officials have been allowing oil companies to spew billions of gallons of waste water, produced by fracking, into aquifers that once contained water so pure it could have been drunk or used in farming. John Marshall, the Chief Deputy Director for California’s Department of Conservation, has said that mistakes may have been made in the permit issuance process. This dumping goes against EPA regulations and may have permanently tainted these invaluable sources of fresh water. Act now to condemn the California Department of Conservation’s error and ensure that this kind of bureaucratic oversight never happens again.

It is no secret that fracking creates a large amount of waste water in the process of oil extraction. Generally, this water is re-injected deep into the earth. While by no means a good idea, this method of waste water disposal is less harmful than others. Occasionally, the waste water is pumped into aquifers that the EPA has deemed “not exempt” from waste. This designation comes from the EPA deciding that the water is otherwise not usable. However, California officials have admitted that they issued permits to dump waste water in at least nine different “exempt” aquifers.

This kind of oversight is truly unacceptable and only adds to the toll that fracking takes on the environment. We must demand that Chief Deputy Director Marshall be held accountable for this mistake and issue a full apology that details a plan to ensure that a mistake like this will never be made again. Please sign below to show your anger with this blunder and to demand that it be rectified immediately.


Dear Chief Deputy Director Marshall,

A recent oversight made by your office resulted in billions of gallons of waste water being dumped into aquifers designated as “exempt” by the EPA. The reason for this exemption is that the aquifers feed fresh water wells in the area and contained water pure enough to be drunk or used for farming purposes. This kind of oversight is unacceptable and may cause health problems for people living in the effected areas for years to come. I demand that you issue a formal apology to the people harmed by this mistake and that you detail a plan to ensure that it never happens again.

Aquifers are an important source of natural, pure water and their contamination must not be taken lightly. Once an aquifer is contaminated, there is a chance that it will never run pure again. This is an unacceptable risk for a few extra barrels of oil, especially now when California is facing such a terrible drought.

I encourage you to do the right thing. Shutting down the oil wells that were dumping is a good first step, but the next is a formal apology and plan to protect these valuable resources for years to come.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Bob Schuster via Wikimedia Commons

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122 Signatures

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