Protect Water and Communities from Oil and Gas

Clean Water Action works to protect water, health, climate and communities from oil and gas while pushing for the transition to a clean energy economy. We work to secure the strongest possible protections to limit the impacts of oil and gas development and to end the special treatment for the fossil fuel industry at the local, state, and national levels.

Aquifer Exemptions: The Report

Aquifer Exemptions: Sacrificing Groundwater for Oil and Gas Production

The Aquifer Exemption program in 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. 

Drilling Rig at Dawn. Photo credit: tbob / iStock

Fracking Threatens Drinking Water

The US Environmental Protection Agency “...found specific instances where one or more of these mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells.”

Extreme Weather Highlights Urgent Need for Energy Infrastructure Updates Across Midwest

Recent IPCC and federal studies are clear: we have to act now. Bold decisions are needed to decarbonize power girds and invest in renewable energy sources to . The polar vortex and deep freeze across the Midwest is another reminder that we need strong local and state leadership to fill the vacuum created by a federal pull back on action on climate.

 

Regulating Oil & Gas Activities to Protect Drinking Water

When the U.S. Congress first passed the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)  in 1974,  it authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a program to protect vital under- ground drinking water resources from risks of industrial activities in which fluid is injected

into the ground. However, Congress also included language mandating that EPA not “interfere with or impede” oil and gas production unless it is “absolutely essential” in order to protect underground sources of drinking water.

The regulatory and legislative history of the SDWA Underground Injection Control Program (UIC) demonstrates the impact of this language on the UIC program’s evolution.

From We All Live Downstream

PFAS Chemicals_Water_Canva.jpg
October 22, 2021

This week marks the 49th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act, our landmark Federal water protection law. In 1972, the Act set a goal of eliminating pollution in our rivers, lakes, streams and bays by 1985. While we’ve made a lot of progress toward this goal, we are certainly not there.

Roadmap to Reform Report cover image
April 7, 2021

The oil and gas industry wields enormous political power. Massive spending on elections and lobbying, a relentless spin machine and agency capture at all levels of government have given fossil fuel companies outsized influence on our political, legislative and regulatory processes.

Oil and water. Credit Andrew Grinberg
January 30, 2020

To stave off the worst effects of the climate crisis, the global and U.S. economies need to decarbonize as fast as possible. Capturing carbon emissions from industrial sources and pulling carbon out of the air via direct air capture are technologies we will likely need in our toolbox if we are to achieve net zero or negative greenhouse gas emissions.