The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Seth Gladstone, sgladstone@fwwatch[dot]org, 917.363.6615

With Proposals to Allow Fracking Waste Dumping in Waterways, EPA Is Courting Disaster

Statement of Mitch Jones, Climate & Energy Policy Director, Food & Water Action


A number of recent reports indicate that the Environmental Protection Agency is studying the possibility of allowing states vast new discretion to allow much more dumping of processed wastewater from oil and gas drilling and fracking operations directly into natural waterways like rivers and streams. In response, Food & Water Action Climate & Energy Policy Director Mitch Jones issued the following statement:

"Simply put, there is no safe way to manage or dispose of highly toxic, radioactive fracking wastewater. But dumping it straight into rivers and streams, many of which are the source of drinking water for countless communities across the country, is patently absurd. Because fracking operations are foolishly exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act, we don't even know all of the dozens of chemicals used to frack in most places. But we do know that fracking fluid and waste contains many heavy metals, known carcinogens, endocrine disrupters and radioactive materials. Disposing of such materials in public waterways would be courting disaster and death.

"It is virtually impossible to safely manage fracking wastewater at treatment facilities. In Pennsylvania, sewage treatment plants that are supposed to treat local municipal wastewater and industrial discharges have been used to treat fracking wastes. They have been ineffective, and heavy metals, radionuclides, salts and other fracking waste contaminants have passed through the processes.

"The only way to stop these radioactive and chemical-laden wastes from further imperiling communities and the environment is by banning drilling and fracking everywhere. Instead of doubling down on fossil fuels, we should invest in a fair and just transition to 100 percent renewable energy, starting now."

Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people's health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

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