Regulators in California, the country's third-largest oil-producing state, have authorized oil companies to inject production fluids and waste into what are now federally protected aquifers more than 2,500 times, risking contamination of underground water supplies that could be used for drinking water or irrigation, state records show.
While the permits go back decades, an Associated Press analysis found that nearly half of those injection wells - 46 percent - were approved or began injections in the last four years under Gov. Jerry Brown, who has pushed state oil and gas regulators to speed up the permitting process. That happened despite growing warnings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 2011 that state regulators were out of compliance with federal laws meant to protect underground drinking-water stores from oilfield contamination.
In California, "we need a big course correction. We need to get the system back in compliance," said Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator for the EPA. "Californians expect their water is not being polluted by oil producers ... This poses that very real danger."....
Read full story here at ABC7: http://abc7.com/news/ca-regulators-allowed-oilfield-dumping-in-drinking-water/507542/
Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG) has determined that 23 wells in VC are under investigation - the brief below was posted online by CFROG 2/7/15-www.cfrog.org
The scandal over oilfield waste injection wells moves into Ventura County. State regulators are investigating more than 500 injection wells for potentially dumping oil industry wastewater into aquifers protected under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act as well as state law. As you can see with this link to an interactive map, the waste injection wells in this country under investigation are on the Rincon, east of Oxnard in the fertile plain,Upper Ojai, the Sespe Oil Field north of Fillmore, Bardsdale south of Fillmore, the Piru oil field and south of Piru.
We counted 23 wells under investigation here.
Under federal law, any aquifer with water that contains less than 10,000 parts-per-million of total dissolved solids (such as salt and other minerals) The 532 wells in the probe are all injecting wastewater into water that is either cleaner than 10,000 ppm TDS or with unknown TDS.
CFROG is pushing for a cleaner way to dispose of oil field wastes. Namely portable reverse osmosis units that can clean produced water at the well before it is reinfected into the field.
And a commercial facility that recycles produced water so that the clean water can then be reused for agriculture or injected safely back into the underground basin.