A little known provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Underground Injection Control (UIC) program allows certain oil and gas and mining activity to occur in groundwater that would otherwise be protected as a drinking water source. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the program in the early days of SDWA implementation to respond to oil and gas interests who cited SDWA language which states that EPA “may not prescribe requirements for state UIC programs which interfere with or impede” the injection of fluids associated with oil and gas production. Extraction proponents argued that certain energy extraction activities would not be able to continue if all underground sources of drinking water everywhere were protected. As a result, an aquifer is now eligible for an exemption if it meets certain regulatory criteria.
Polling throughout last year by institutions like Franklin and Marshall College and Mercyhurst University suggested that a vast majority of the public oppose additional gas development in state forests.
Coalition Calls On Other Major Retailers and Massachusetts to Follow Suit
City’s Office of Emergency Management Acts With Indifference; Clean Water Action Announces Community Listening Tour To Highlight the Continued Danger of Oil Trains to Public Health and the Environment
Philadelphia, PA – A year ago today, Philadelphia narrowly escaped a major disaster when six highly explosive CSX tank cars carrying volatile crude oil from the Bakken Shale region in North Dakota derailed on the Schuylkill Arsenal Bridge. This incident threatened the safety of nearby neighborhoods and the source of drinking water for 1.5 million city residents. Since that time city officials and the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (OEM) have done little to improve protections, help residents understand the dangers of crude-by-rail, or what residents should do in the event of an oil train accident. Clean Water Action on the other hand has worked to uncover and improve OEM’s preparedness and has also begun setting up community listening sessions to help raise awareness about oil trains and to involve city residents in the conversation.
“Philadelphia dodged a bullet and avoided a major catastrophe but the next time we may not be so lucky,” said Mary Donahue, Program Organizer. “Every day we see 160,000 barrels of oil rumble through our neighborhoods and over our rivers headed for refining at Philadelphia Energy Solutions in South Philadelphia. We need to know that as oil train traffic increases, we have protections and safeguards in place to avoid and address future disasters,” concluded Donahue.
Clean Water Action welcomes publication of EPA's long awaited final science report that shows small streams and wetlands can impact water quality downstream.
Washington - Yesterday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence, an extensive, peer reviewed summary of the latest science on the vital importance of small streams and wetlands to downstream water quality, including drinking water sources. The findings in the report will guide the final Clean Water Rule currently being developed by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. These agencies are working to finalize a rule this spring that would clarify protections for over half of the nation's small streams and 20 million acres of wetlands. These vital water bodies feed the drinking water for more than 1 in 3 Americans.
Clean Water Action's President and CEO, Bob Wendelgass, released this statement.
Today the White House announced a plan to reduce harmful methane pollution from the oil and gas industry by 40-45 percent by 2025. Clean Water Action released this statement:
“Clean Water Action applauds the Administrations’ efforts to establish the first-ever standards for methane emissions from oil and gas operations. However, these standards could be more robust and implemented on an expedited timeline consistent with the urgency of the climate crisis.