Exposing Aquifer Exemptions

We are working to ensure that aquifers that could be used for drinking water are not sacrificed to the fossil fuel industry. Aquifer exemptions prioritize the fossil fuel industry over drinking water by writing off groundwater forever.

Regulating Oil & Gas Activities to Protect Drinking Water

When the U.S. Congress first passed the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)  in 1974,  it authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a program to protect vital under- ground drinking water resources from risks of industrial activities in which fluid is injected

into the ground. However, Congress also included language mandating that EPA not “interfere with or impede” oil and gas production unless it is “absolutely essential” in order to protect underground sources of drinking water.

The regulatory and legislative history of the SDWA Underground Injection Control Program (UIC) demonstrates the impact of this language on the UIC program’s evolution.

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From We All Live Downstream

Roadmap to Reform Report cover image
April 7, 2021

The oil and gas industry wields enormous political power. Massive spending on elections and lobbying, a relentless spin machine and agency capture at all levels of government have given fossil fuel companies outsized influence on our political, legislative and regulatory processes.