On March 20, Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) wrote a letter to Governor Jerry Brown requesting that his administration immediately shut down approximately 2,500 underground injection wells. The letter was signed by seven other legislators and urges that these wells must be closed until “all appropriate aquifer exemptions have been issued by the US EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] and investigations of groundwater contamination from these wells are complete.”
Senator Pavley’s letter comes in response to reports that California is out of compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”) underground injection control (“UIC”) program. The SDWA prohibits injection of Class II wells into aquifers that are potential drinking water sources, called non-exempt aquifers. Class II wells are those that dispose of waste water from oil and gas production. The California Department of Conservation (“DOC”) is already addressing this matter, and has issued a notice of proposed emergency rulemaking to eliminate injection into non-exempt aquifers on April 2.
Continue Reading Letter Urges Oil & Gas Wastewater Well Shut-Ins due to Risk of Groundwater Contamination; Regulators Stick to Rulemaking