Stop Big Oil From Dumping Wastewater Into Rivers And Streams

Target: Andrew Wheeler, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Stop big oil companies from dumping under-researched and chemical laden wastewater into our rivers and streams.

Big oil companies are considering dumping potentially dangerous wastewater, a largely under-researched and chemically complex byproduct of drilling and fracking, into rivers and streams. This wastewater, deemed “produced water” by the industry, is produced in large volumes. Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico have seen a recent boom in the fracking industry and produced a whopping 270 billion gallons of wastewater in 2017. Due to the excess of produced water, these three states are at risk of contaminating their waterways if the EPA and state governments issue permits to dump.

This comes after a crackdown on regulations limiting underground wastewater disposal, particularly in Oklahoma. The common method of injecting wastewater into highly-pressurized, underground tanks was directly linked to earthquakes that increased by 900-fold since 2008, when fracking became popular in Oklahoma. Regulations have resulted in a decline in earthquakes, but have left oil companies largely unsure of what to do with the produced water.

East of the 98th Meridian, a geographical line that runs down the middle of Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma, oil and gas companies are allowed to release wastewater into streams and rivers, so long as it runs through a centralized treatment plant. West of the meridian, however, which includes half of Texas, Oklahoma and all of New Mexico, companies can dump produced water into rivers and streams without treatment if they have a permit.

Due to the fact that the majority of wastewater has been disposed of in sealed tanks, there is little data surrounding the chemicals and contaminants that exist in produced water. Research done by the Environmental Defense Fund, Texas A&M University and the Endocrine Disruption Exchange found that more than half of the chemicals identified in produced water have not been studied for safety or toxicity and 86 percent lack the data needed to complete a risk assessment. In addition, studies in Western Pennsylvania have shown that running wastewater through a centralized wastewater plant does not eliminate harmful chemicals. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found high levels of radium, a carcinogenic chemical, in water that had been treated. Other harmful chemicals and metals have been found in wastewater, including benzene and lead. Many, still, are unknown.

Sign below and demand that the government keep this dangerous wastewater out of rivers and streams until further research can be done.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Wheeler,

Releasing produced water with thousands of toxic and unknown chemicals into our rivers and streams could have severe ecological and health consequences without the proper research. We cannot continue to risk human health and the well being of our fragile ecosystems in the name of corporate industry. If we release chemicals such as lead and radium into our waterways, we will never be able to take that back.

I urge you to fund extensive research on the chemicals and composition of wastewater before allowing state governments to issue permits to dump. In addition, I urge you to strengthen regulations on the type of water than can be released from centralized treatment plants. Higher-than-normal levels of radium in our water as a byproduct of fracking is unacceptable.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: George Thomas




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19 Comments

  1. Shirley Lemieux says:

    In no way should our earths water systems be used as a toxic dumping zone.

  2. Maria Bertrand says:

    It is common sense that dumping chemical waste water, in the earth’s water ways, will only worsen and speed up the global environment problems that face mankind and animals….please heavily research these produced waters before blindly dumping!

  3. Heather Brophy says:

    Andrew, We pay you to PROTECT not to be IGNORANT, GREEDY, IGNORE DESTRUCTION and KILL INNOCENT ANIMALS AND PEOPLE if you can not do your job GET THE HELL OUT NOW!

  4. When the last tree is cut down the last fish eaten and the last stream poisoned you will realize that you CANNOT EAT MONEY!!!
    KEEP this dangerous wastewater OUT OF rivers and streams until further research can be done.

  5. Our water and lands should not be dump sites. For sludge or waste! This is what is contributing. To the pollution and drastic change in our climate. We don’t want to destroy what few pristine lands
    or resources we have left. By reducing them to wastelands.

  6. Andrew Wheeler, All of our water ways need to be protected. Stop big oil from dumping this harmful water into our streams. Due to Texas, New Mexico & Oklahoma the excess of produced water, these three states are at risk of contaminating their water ways if the EPA & state governments issue permits to dump.Please put a stop to this harmful procedure.

    • Julia Edinger says:

      DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT THESE LIARS ARE SAYING !!!
      I HAPPEN TO KNOW FAMILY WHO ARE VERY KNOWLEDGABLE
      ABOUT THIS,,,, THEY SAID COMPANIES ARE SPENDING “BIG BUCKS” TO PROTECT ALL WILDLIFE ETC…….

    • Julia Edinger says:

      THEY ARE LYING TO EVERYONE !!! THIS IS TOTALLY “FAKE NEWS” I have family who work for companies in this industry ,,,, companies are spending “BIG BUCKS” to protect all wildlife etc !!

      • Terri Manabe says:

        Julia, I don’t know how you think this is FAKE NEWS, but I think you need to educate yourself and stop using Trump’s line. This is very real and a serious problem and perhaps if you are directly affected by the water being polluted when you drink it or chemicals ending up in your drinking water that’ll make you sick, perhaps then, you’ll believe and stop saying this is FAKE NEWS!!

  7. Not a Democrat but I CAN NOT vote for an administration that is so profligate in its abuse of our basic support systems incorporated in the environment!

    How can you to be so abusive? I’d think that you had a lobotomy making you so thoughtless.

  8. Julia Edinger says:

    THIS IS “TOTALLY FAKE NEWS” !!!! STOP SPREADING LIES,,, NOW😡

  9. Julia….you off your meds????

  10. Michelle Stewart says:

    Stop the dumping now

  11. Justin Recht says:

    So this is what it looks like when the government is on your side?
    For corporation +
    For the public-

    Voters hold people in politics more accountable!

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