Texas Messing With Texas: New Report Find Railroad Commission Fails to Protect Drinking Water from the Oil and Gas Industry

Friday, August 26, 2016

Austin - Today, Clean Water Action released a report  that finds Texas has been ignoring federal requirements to protect drinking water from oil and gas development for decades. Texas regulators regularly waive federal requirements for companies to procure an exemption from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to inject potentially toxic fluids into drinking water sources that could be used in the future.

“The failure of the Texas Railroad Commission to implement federally mandated Safe Drinking Water Act protections leaves Texans in the dark about the security of their underground sources of drinking water," said David Foster,  Clean Water Action Texas State Director

The report discovered major gaps in oversight and transparency and poor record keeping in the Railroad Commission’s Underground Injection Control Program. The findings highlight that more needs to be done to protect drinking water as Texas deals with a growing population and recurrent drought.

Read the report for more details.

“When you lift the veil on the Railroad Commission you see it consistently prioritizes oil and gas development over the long term drinking water needs of Texas residents,” said John Noël, National Oil & Gas Campaigns Coordinator. Noel continued, “The Railroad Commission has permitted injection into sources of drinking water that could have been used in the future. Incredibly, the full scope of the problem is unknown and that should worry anyone dependant on ground water in Texas.”


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table.

David Foster
(512) 474-2046
Michael Kelly