Stone Announces Fracking Bill to Regulate Contaminated Wastewater

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO) – Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) has announced legislation to keep communities' water supply safe by ensuring that wastewater used in oil and gas drilling is disposed of properly. AB 669 would provide appropriate governmental oversight and monitoring of wastewater produced during fracking and other oil and gas drilling operations.

"Fracking potentially exposes Californians' water supply to toxic chemicals. Currently, there's little governmental oversight to ensure that our groundwater supply doesn't get contaminated by the large volume of toxic wastewater fracking produces," said Stone. "My bill would address this shortcoming in the law and would help protect the public's health."

Specifically, AB 669 would require oil well operators to get their wastewater disposal plans approved by a regional water quality board before drilling activity is allowed to commence. The local water quality boards would review the method and location of wastewater disposal for the well, and would provide permits only after determining that wastewater disposal has been properly mitigated. The operator would then be required to submit the permitted plan to the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR).

"Since the agency in charge of regulating oil and gas extraction in California acknowledges that they aren't experts in water quality, Assemblymember Stone's legislation is critical in assuring Californians that toxic wastewater produced by the industry is properly handled. This water is produced whether a well is fracked or conventionally drilled and Assembly Bill 669 will make it clear that wastewater disposal from any kind of drilling operation has adequate oversight," stated Bill Allayaud, California Director of Government Affairs for the Environmental Working Group.

"We support this bill introduced by our Assemblymember, Mark Stone," said Maureen Cain, spokesperson for the Santa Cruz County-based group Aromas Cares for Our Environment (ACE). "Our concerns have been the lack of monitoring and reporting on the environmental impacts of fracking and other enhanced recovery techniques being used by the oil/gas industry in our state. Our water quality is of utmost importance. Let's prevent the problems from happening, rather than having to clean up the mess afterwards."

CONTACT: Arianna Smith, 916-319-2029