Quantcast
Connect with us

EPA wants to let frackers dump chemical-laden water into rivers

Published

on

Thanks for your support!
This article was paid for by reader donations to Raw Story Investigates.
Sarah Okeson
Sarah Okeson

Sarah Okeson

Trump’s EPA is trying to take our nation back to the 1920s when polluted water from drilling oil was dumped on more than 2,000 acres in west Texas, creating the Texon scar, contaminated land so barren almost a century later that it can be identified from space.

The EPA recently released the draft of a study of options to dispose of “produced water” from drilling for gas and oil that could include irrigation and discharging it into rivers and streams.

“Revolutionary ideas are needed to ensure (water) demand can be balanced in the future,” said Tom Blaine, the former state engineer for New Mexico which generated 37.8 billion gallons of produced water in 2017.

The water, sometimes 10 times saltier than seawater and laced with chemicals such as ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze, traditionally has been injected underground, but that practice has been linked to hundreds of earthquakes in Oklahoma and other oil-producing states in the last decade.

Fracking can produce as much as 10 gallons of water for every gallon of oil. The amount of wastewater new wells produce during their first year has increased by up to 1,440%.

ADVERTISEMENT

In 2016, the EPA banned public sewage plants from accepting wastewater from fracking, but the EPA later extended the deadline for complying until August. The water was so corrosive it was damaging factory machinery downstream. People living near the Monongahela River in western Pennsylvania were advised to drink bottled water.

At least 11 private waste treatment facilities accept waste from drilling for oil and gas and discharge wastewater. In 2012, just 5% of produced water was discharged to rivers and streams.

The EPA identified 692 different ingredients used in fracking that can end up in produced water, including acids, gels and sand. The water can also be radioactive. Little research has been done about treating waste from drilling for oil and gas, and there are no federal regulations about the radioactive waste produced by drilling for oil.

“The science does not yet exist to say it’s clean enough to release into rivers and streams or to use for crop irrigation or other purposes,” said Mark Brownstein, senior vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund.

In Kentucky, 1,900 tons of radioactive sludge from produced water was illegally dumped in a landfill near the Kentucky River. The EPA has said it won’t strengthen regulations on waste produced by drilling for oil and gas.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Commentary

New York’s legislature gives landlords a lesson in democracy

Published

on

The knockout punch that the New York State Legislature just landed fighting landlords over spiraling rents ought to be attracting wider attention.

Just as with healthcare access or prescription drug prices, the cost of rent increases that mostly benefit big apartment owners is a challenge to the income-gap society that are at the heart of the national political debate. Every urban center in the country is having housing problems, and rents, like mortgages, are a subject at every kitchen table.

For once, the New York Legislature, whose Democrats overcame internecine divisions this session, has abolished rules that let building owners deregulate apartments, and closed loopholes that have permitted landlords to raise rents. And the changes for better tenant protection were made permanent, eliminating the recurring drama over these issues.

Continue Reading

DC Report

Trump’s EPA wants minimal limits on poison in drinking water

Published

on

The Trump EPA calculated recommended limits of a dangerous chemical sometimes found in drinking water that can harm babies’ brain development that were more than 9 times higher than those imposed by a few states by fudging a key number in the calculation.

The Trump recommended a limit for perchlorate, which can harm infant brain development, of 56 micrograms per liter, far above the limit of 6 that California imposed and 2 that Massachusetts set, more than a decade ago.

Continue Reading
 

Commentary

Gaming the tax system for an upscale waterfront playground

Published

on

New Tax Law Works for Billionaire and Goldman Sachs

Under a six-lane span of freeway leading into downtown Baltimore sit what may be the most valuable parking spaces in America, report ProPublica and WNYC as part of their continuing Trump Inc. series. Lying near a development project controlled by Under Armour’s billionaire CEO Kevin Plank, one of Maryland’s richest men, and Goldman Sachs, the little sliver of land will allow Plank and the other investors to claim what could amount to millions in tax breaks for the project, known as Port Covington. They have President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul law to thank. The new law has a provision meant to spur investment into underdeveloped areas, called “opportunity zones.” The idea is to grant lucrative tax breaks to encourage new investment in poor areas around the country, carefully selected by each state’s governor. But Port Covington, an ambitious development geared to millennials to feature offices, a hotel, apartments, and shopping, is not in a census tract that is poor. It’s not a new investment. And the census tract only became eligible to be an opportunity zone thanks to a mapping error.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

Learn how you can help.
close-link