3 BILLION GALLONS Of Fracking Wastewater Pumped Into Clean California Aquifiers: ‘Errors Were Made’ State Admits

Flashback:

Prof. Chris Busby For RT: Wrecking The Earth: Fracking Has GRAVE RADIATION Risks Few Talk About

Fracking Hell: Toxic And Radioactive Waste – The Untold Story

The Oil and Gas Industry’s 800-Pound Gorilla: RADIATION!

More info on fracking down below.


3 Billion Gallons Of Fracking Wastewater Pumped Into Clean California Aquifiers: “Errors Were Made” State Admits (ZeroHedge, Nov 17, 2014):

Dear California readers: if you drank tapwater this morning (or at any point in the past few weeks/months), you may be in luck as you no longer need to buy oil to lubricate your engine: just use your blood, and think of the cost-savings. That’s the good news.

Also, the bad news, because as the California’s Department of Conservation’s Chief Deputy Director, Jason Marshall, told NBC Bay Area, California state officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump up to 3 billion gallons (call it 70 million barrels) of oil fracking-contaminated waste water into formerly clean aquifiers, aquifiers which at least on paper are supposed to be off-limits to that kind of activity, and are protected by the government’s EPA – an agency which, it appears, was richly compensated by the same oil and gas companies to look elsewhere.

And the scariest words of admission one can ever hear from a government apparatchik: “In multiple different places of the permitting process an error could have been made.”

Because nothing short of a full-blown disaster prompts the use of the dreaded passive voice. And what was unsaid is that the “biggest error that was made” is that someone caught California regulators screwing over the taxpayers just so a few oil majors could save their shareholders a few billion dollars in overhead fees.

And now that one government agency has been caught flaunting the rules, the other government agencies, and certainly private citizens and businesses, start screaming: after all some faith in the well-greased, pardon the pun, government apparatus has to remain:

“It’s inexcusable,” said Hollin Kretzmann, at the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco. “At (a) time when California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, we’re allowing oil companies to contaminate what could otherwise be very useful ground water resources for irrigation and for drinking. It’s possible these aquifers are now contaminated irreparably.”

The process, for those confused, explained by NBC:

In “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing operations, oil and gas companies use massive amounts of water to force the release of underground fossil fuels. The practice produces large amounts of waste water that must then be disposed of.

Marshall said that often times, oil and gas companies simply re-inject that waste water back deep underground where the oil extraction took place. But other times, Marshall said, the waste water is re-injected into aquifers closer to the surface. Those injections are supposed to go into aquifers that the EPA calls “exempt”—in other words, not clean enough for humans to drink or use.

But in the State’s letter to the EPA, officials admit that in at least nine waste water injection wells, the waste water was injected into “non-exempt” or clean aquifers containing high quality water.

For the EPA, “non-exempt” aquifers are underground bodies of water that are “containing high quality water” that can be used by humans to drink, water animals or irrigate crops.

If the waste water re-injection well “went into a non-exempt aquifer. It should not have been permitted,” said Marshall.

Yet it was, to the tune of 3 billion gallons. And nobody said a word about it until someone finally did a little research and found that people, especially those in power, lie.

And lie they did because the severity of the pollution is only now becoming clear:

In its reply letter to the EPA, California’s Water Resources Control Board said its “staff identified 108 water supply wells located within a one-mile radius of seven…injection wells” and that The Central Valley Water Board conducted sampling of “eight water supply wells in the vicinity of some of these… wells.”

“This is something that is going to slowly contaminate everything we know around here,” said fourth- generation Kern County almond grower Tom Frantz, who lives down the road from several of the injection wells in question.

According to state records, as many as 40 water supply wells, including domestic drinking wells, are located within one mile of a single well that’s been injecting into non-exempt aquifers.

That well is located in an area with several homes nearby, right in the middle of a citrus grove southeast of Bakersfield.

baker well

Cue the just as angry community organizers:

“That’s a huge concern and communities who rely on water supply wells near these injection wells have a lot of reason to be concerned that they’re finding high levels of arsenic and thallium and other chemicals nearby where these injection wells have been allowed to operate,” said Kretzmann.

“It is a clear worry,” said Juan Flores, a Kern County community organizer for the Center on Race, Poverty and The Environment. “We’re in a drought. The worst drought we’ve seen in decades. Probably the worst in the history of agriculture in California.”

“No one from this community will drink from the water from out of their well,” said Flores. “The people are worried. They’re scared.”

It remains to be seen just whom that other, far more prominent community organizer will blame for this latest environmental debacle. Surely it will somehow be the fault of the Keystone pipeline?

In the meantime, the oil companies are already taking defensive measures, blaming the fiasco on… a “paperwork issue.”

The trade association that represents many of California’s oil and gas companies says the water-injection is a “paperwork issue.” In a statement issued to NBC Bay Area, Western States Petroleum Association spokesman Tupper Hull said “there has never been a bona vide claim or evidence presented that the paperwork confusion resulted in any contamination of drinking supplies near the disputed injection wells.”

Well, actually, there is:

However, state officials tested 8 water supply wells within a one-mile radius of some of those wells.

Four water samples came back with higher than allowable levels of nitrate, arsenic, and thallium.

Those same chemicals are used by the oil and gas industry in the hydraulic fracturing process and can be found in oil recovery waste-water.

And now back to the source of it all: the California Department of Conservation, where we are confident a little further investigative reporting will find millions in kickbacks and corruption, all funded by the oil and gas “lobby.”

When asked how this could happen in the first place, Marshall said that the long history of these wells makes it difficult to know exactly what the thinking was.

“When you’re talking about wells that were permitted in 1985 to 1992, we’ve tried to go back and talk to some of the permitting engineers,” said Marshall. “And it’s unfortunate but in some cases they (the permitting engineers) are deceased.”

Kern County’s Water Board referred the Investigative Unit to the state for comment.

We hope to learn who the state will refer the unit for comment next.

Finally, for those living around the blue dots, avoiding the tapwater for the time being may be a good idea.

wastewater wells_0

As for whether the public’s opinion about fracking is changed as a result of revelations such as this: we reserve judgment until comparative Investigative Units piece uncover how many billion gallons in fracking wastewater was dumped in other states where the shale miracle is (still) alive and well.

Related information:

Frackquake: 4.8 Magnitude Earthquake Felt Throughout Kansas

WTF: Fracking firms should be allowed to cause bigger earth tremors, academics claim

‘US fracking extremely dangerous, poses cancer threat’

Farmers Fear Fracking Could Spell Financial Ruin

Largest Kansas Earthquake In 140+ Years – 4.4M Strikes FRACKING Operation (Video)

Just 4 Fracking Wastewater Sites Cause 20% Of All Central US Earthquakes

Will Fracking Cause Our Next Nuclear Disaster?

Allow Fracking In NATIONAL PARKS, Says UK Environment Agency Chief

WTF: North Carolina GOP Pushes Unprecedented Bill To Jail Anyone Who Discloses Fracking Chemicals

Exxon CEO Fights Fracking … When It Comes Near His Texas Ranch

Fracking Is Draining Water From US Areas Suffering Major Shortages

Fracking’s Terrifying Water Usage Trends Spell Disaster

Prof. Chris Busby For RT: Wrecking The Earth: Fracking Has GRAVE RADIATION Risks Few Talk About

Texas: The Worst Drought In Two Generations Is Choking Water Supply, Which Is Why Residents Now Turn Against Fracking

‘The Real Threat: Acid Jobs’

Fracking Our Food Supply – Livestock Falling Ill In Fracking Regions

Fracking The Great Lakes

Fracking Chemical Cocktail Interview – ‘Fracktastic’ Radionuclides And Total Destruction Coming Your Way (Video)

David Letterman On Fracking:‘We’re Screwed’ (Video)

Human-Made Earthquakes Reported In Central U.S (Reuters)

US Government Confirms Link Between Earthquakes And Fracking

European Gas Giant Backs French Fear Of Fracking

Texas Forces Firms To Open Up On ‘Fracking’

Fracking Hell: Toxic And Radioactive Waste – The Untold Story

The Oil and Gas Industry’s 800-Pound Gorilla: RADIATION!

‘Fracking’ Result (= Contamination) For UK Shale Gas Will Be Kept Secret Until 2015

US: Natural Gas Wells’ Contaminated Water Hits Rivers

GASLAND Trailer 2010 (Documentary)

 

5 thoughts on “3 BILLION GALLONS Of Fracking Wastewater Pumped Into Clean California Aquifiers: ‘Errors Were Made’ State Admits

  1. Fortunately, those who trust Gov & have no interest in the alternative news will be the first to suffer && are expendable.

    But trust has gone out the window. This plus leaks of radiation, climate controlled drought, herbicide coated anti pest food, hormone injected meat, diffused sunlight, economic recovery, police brutality, constant surveillance, warmongering, the list is indeed endless.

    The only alternative left is to remove one’s self from the established system. Easier said than done, but for the forward thinkers, it is already in hand.

  2. How does one remove oneself from the existing system except by death?
    Nobody where I live touches tap water…….it literally stinks where I live……

  3. Marilyn, there are many who have looked at their reliance on the modern ways of life and chosen to walk away.

    Others have chosen an approach somewhere in between, with reduced reliance.

    Like you say, nobody there drinks tap-water, so presumably they rely on expensive bottled water. Or maybe they filter rainwater or river water? Either way, it is removed from the established system. There are thousands of links advising how to reduce reliance on the system.

    My savings were returning zilch so I invested it in solar panels & am getting a return of 7.5% by virtue of bill reduction. Better than any other investment these days.

    Whatever, community society evolved quite well before governmental expansion of utility supplies, and if you cannot rely on the system, you make alternative arrangements, it is a step too far to just give up and croak.

    As I’ve said before, the writing has been on the wall for nearly 4 years with Fukushima, and 11 years with Geo-engineering, There is obviously a plan which includes much discomfort for California, Oregon & Washington, which seem deemed expendable. Inaction is suicide anyway.

    I needed a clout on the head from loyal friends to show me there was no future in my type of business. Perhaps we just have different reactions to situations.

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