Please sign the petition asking the EPA stop the frackers from discharging their waste water where it will be drunk by farm animals.
Millions of gallons of water laced with toxic chemicals from oil and gas drilling rigs are pumped for consumption by wildlife and livestock with the formal approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The EPA has just posted proposed new water discharge permits for the nearly dozen oil fields on or abutting the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.
"Under the less than watchful eye of the EPA, fracking flowback is dumped into rivers, lakes and reservoirs," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. "Gushers of putrid, grayish water encrusted with chemical crystals flood through Wind River into nearby streams."
Surface disposal of water produced by oil and gas drilling is forbidden in the Eastern U.S. but allowed in the arid West for purposes of "agricultural or wildlife propagation," in the words of the governing federal regulation.
In the last decade, fracking fluids often consisting of powerfully toxic chemicals have been included in this surface discharge. The exact mixture used by individual operators is treated as a trade secret. But one recent analysis identified 632 chemicals now used in shale-gas production. More than 75 percent of them affect the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems; 40-50 percent impact the kidneys and the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems; 37 percent act on the hormone system; and 25 percent are linked with cancer or mutations.
"Amid all the controversy on this topic, there is one point of agreement: Drinking fracking fluids is not a good idea," added Ruch, pointing to cases where cattle drinking creek water contaminated with fracking fluids died or failed to produce calves the following year. "The more than 30-year old 'produced water' exceptionwas intended for naturally occurring fluids and muds from within the geologic formations, not this new generation of powerful chemicals introduced downhole."