A collective of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit against the EPA in an attempt to get it to address the problem of wastewater resulting from the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) process.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If your home or community was affected by air or water contamination caused by fracking, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
May 16, 2016 – The complaint orders the EPA to impose stricter rules on the disposal of fracking wastewater, according to the Washington Post. The wastes are typically pumped into underground wells — a practice that has been linked to numerous tremors and earthquakes near fracking sites across the U.S. The groups allege that EPA has neglected to revise its existing rules for almost 30 years, even though in the late 1980s the agency admitted that stricter requirements were needed for the handling of oil and gas drilling waste products.
“Right now, companies can get rid of their toxic mess in any number of dangerous ways – from spraying it on icy roads, to sending it to landfills with our everyday household trash, to injecting it underground where it can endanger drinking water and trigger earthquakes,” said Amy Mall, senior policy analyst at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “EPA must step in and protect our communities and drinking water from the carcinogens, radioactive material and other dangerous substances that go hand-in-hand with oil and gas waste.”
Additionally, the groups want EPA to outlaw the practice of dumping wastewater on fields and roads, where it could potentially contaminate drinking water sources. They also seek tighter environmental specifications for ponds and landfills where drilling and fracking wastes are dumped to protect against leaks. The complaint requests that the court set a time limit for the EPA to adopt the new regulations.
Last year, the agency wrapped up a comprehensive review of fracking operations practices, concluding that there was no evidence of significant damage to drinking water sources. However, it did warn about the potential for contamination from fracking, which has played a major role in the recent oil and gas production boom in the U.S.
Approximately 2 billion gallons of wastewater are injected per day into thousands of underground wells across the U.S., according to the EPA. Most of these wells are in Texas, California, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) announced tighter restrictions on public fracking sites in an attempt to decrease the risk of water contamination. Those rules would apply only to oil and gas drilling on federal lands. Companies that drill on public sites would be subject to stricter design standards for wells, and also for tanks and ponds where wastewater is stored. They also would have to disclose any chemicals added to fracking fluid, which typically consists of a mixture of water and sand. Those rules, opposed by industry groups who argue they will increase production costs, have been challenged in federal court and remain in legal limbo.
Do I Have a Fracking Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in fracking lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new air and water contamination cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you believe you were harmed by the hydraulic fracturing process, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.