The Illegal Poisoning Of California’s Remaining Water Supply

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I got a shocking message this afternoon from a contact I have at California EPA, some of California’s remaining aquifers are being illegally poisoned with highly toxic industrial wastewater that is being injected into wells. This sounds like a plot from a Steven Seagal movie, but it is happening and it must be exposed. Just when you think it can not get any worse or any more insane, another giant leap is taken in that direction. The climate engineers continue to cut off the hydrological cycle from the state of California, they have created a drought of unprecedented magnitude which has caused radical ground water depletion. Now, some of the last remaining aquifers may be in danger of permanent contamination. Billions of gallons of industrial waste filled with highly toxic chemicals have been illegally injected into wells in the Central Valley. Those in power have put California on the fast track to becoming a completely toxic drought stricken desert wasteland. All that participate in these crimes must be held accountable including the media that is helping to hide every aspect of the crimes mentioned. From the toxic rain robbing spraying of our skies to the poisoning of our remaining wells, mainstream media has been an accomplice to the cover up. Any that claim to care at all for their children’s future must rise to the challenges we face. All must stand and join the fight for the common good. We must completely alter the course of the human race now, or we will not have any tomorrow. The power structure has put the human race on the fast track to total extinction. Priority issues must be the focus, or soon no other issues will matter. No water, no life. Poisoned water, no life. Climate engineering is poisoning our air, soils,and surface water. The highly toxic injection wells are now irreparably poisoning our remaining ground water. Both must be halted immediately, all are desperately needed in this fight. The just released document below should be extremely alarming to all.
Dane Wigington
geoengineeringwatch.org

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For Immediate Release, October 6, 2014

Documents Reveal Billions of Gallons of Oil Industry Wastewater Illegally Injected
Into Central California Aquifers

Tests Find Elevated Arsenic, Thallium Levels in Nearby Water Wells

SAN FRANCISCO Almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry wastewater have been illegally dumped into central California aquifers that supply drinking water and farming irrigation, according to state documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity. The wastewater entered the aquifers through at least nine injection disposal wells used by the oil industry to dispose of waste contaminated with fracking fluids and other pollutants.

The documents also reveal that Central Valley Water Board testing found high levels of arsenic, thallium and nitrates contaminants sometimes found in oil industry wastewater in water-supply wells near these waste-disposal operations.

“Clean water is one of California’s most crucial resources, and these documents make it clear that state regulators have utterly failed to protect our water from oil industry pollution,” said Hollin Kretzmann, a Center attorney. “Much more testing is needed to gauge the full extent of water pollution and the threat to public health. But Governor Brown should move quickly to halt fracking to ward off a surge in oil industry wastewater that California simply isn’t prepared to dispose of safely.”

The state’s Water Board confirmed beyond doubt that at least nine wastewater disposal wells have been injecting waste into aquifers that contain high-quality water that is supposed to be protected under federal and state law.

Thallium is an extremely toxic chemical commonly used in rat poison. Arsenic is a toxic chemical that can cause cancer. Some studies show that even low-level exposure to arsenic in drinking water can compromise the immune system’s ability to fight illness.

“Arsenic and thallium are extremely dangerous chemicals,” said Timothy Krantz, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Redlands. “The fact that high concentrations are showing up in multiple water wells close to wastewater injection sites raises major concerns about the health and safety of nearby residents.”

The Center obtained a letter from the State Water Resources Control Board to the Environmental Protection Agency. The letter says that the Central Valley Regional Water Board has confirmed that injection wells have been dumping oil industry waste into aquifers that are legally protected under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The state Water Board also concedes that another 19 wells may also have contaminated protected aquifers, and dozens more have been injecting waste into aquifers of unknown quality.

The Central Valley Water Board tested eight water-supply wells out of more than 100 in the vicinity of these injection wells. Arsenic, nitrate and thallium exceeded the maximum contaminant level in half the water samples.

While the current extent of contamination is cause for grave concern, the long-term threat posed by the unlawful wastewater disposal may be even more devastating. Benzene, toluene and other harmful chemicals used in fracking fluid are routinely found in flowback water coming out of oil wells in California, often at levels hundreds of times higher than what is considered safe, and this flowback fluid is sent to wastewater disposal wells. Underground migration of chemicals like benzene can take years.

In July the state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources shut down 11 Kern County oil field injection wells and began scrutinizing almost 100 others that were potentially contaminating protected groundwater. The Environmental Protection Agency, which has ultimate legal authority over underground injection, ordered state officials to provide an assessment of the water-contamination risk within 60 days, and the letter from the state Water Board confirms that illegal contamination has occurred at multiple sites.

California’s oil and gas fields produce billions of gallons of contaminated wastewater each year, and much of this contaminated fluid is injected underground. California has an estimated 2,583 wastewater injections wells, of which 1,552 are currently active. Wastewater injection wells are located throughout the state, from the Chico area in Northern California to Los Angeles in the south, and even include offshore wells near Santa Barbara.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 775,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

38 Responses to The Illegal Poisoning Of California’s Remaining Water Supply

  1. Steven Chamberlain says:

    Katos, Is there any documentation of this massive Crab die off? If you have any pictures please post them. Thousands of dead full grown Dungeness Crabs covering the beach, WOW!

  2. Ben says:

    Thanks a lot for you comment Anthony. I live in CA, San Fran. and I looked into Berkey not too long ago after finding this website. I looked at the specs of their small or mid size filter, I did not know that only one is for sale to CA! I asked the online chat person what the size particulates the filters filtered and they could not say “The manufacture does not give out that information.” I asked why Aluminum was not filtered as well as the other heavy metals, and they told me that aluminum sometimes acts like other minerals, I guess minerals that the filters don’t filter as much. I understand that aluminum is found in nature as a component or attached to other materials or possibly minerals so I guess the lack of filtering out aluminum makes some sense. Still the difference was like 20% between aluminum filtering and the other heavy metals. Anyways, I would encourage you to do your tests and report back. Too many people are looking in to this and other issues for anyone to single you out for testing water. Just my opinion and I’m not a water scientist. Still the more people doing independent research and speaking out the better. A lot of people are trying to cleanup the environment and fix our energy issues, but really everyone needs to be involved in creating a better world. Thanks.

  3. L. Little says:

    Oil, Gas & Geothermal- Injection Wells

    Injection wells have been an integral part of California’s oil and gas operations for over 50 years. Currently, close to 42,000 oilfield injection wells are operating in the state. Injection wells are used to increase oil recovery and to safely dispose of the salt and fresh water produced with oil and natural gas.

    Injection wells are classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency into six classes according to the type of fluid they inject and where the fluid is injected, as follows:

    •Class I wells – inject hazardous and non-hazardous wastes below the lowermost underground source of drinking water (USDW). Injection occurs into deep, isolated rock formations that are separated from the lowermost USDW by layers of impermeable clay and rock.

    •Class II wells – inject fluids associated with oil and natural gas production operations. Most of the injected fluid is brine that is produced when oil and gas are extracted from the earth.

    •Class III wells – inject super-heated steam, water, or other fluids into formations to extract minerals. The injected fluids are then pumped to the surface and the minerals in solution are extracted. Generally, the fluid is treated and re-injected into the same formation.

    •Class IV wells – inject hazardous or radioactive wastes into underground sources of drinking water. These wells are banned under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program because they directly threaten public health.

    •Class V wells – are injection wells that are not included in the other 4 classes. Some Class V wells are wastewater disposal wells used by the geothermal industry, but most are wells such as septic systems and cesspools. Generally, they are shallow and depend upon gravity to drain or “inject” liquid waste into the ground.

    •Class VI wells – inject carbon dioxide (CO2) into deep underground subsurface rock formations for long-term storage, or geologic sequestration. The Division does not have primacy to regulate Class VI wells. Class VI wells are permitted and regulated though the US EPA.

    In California, all Class II injection wells are regulated by the Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, under provisions of the state Public Resources Code and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Class II injection wells fall under the Division’s UIC program, which is monitored and audited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 1983, the Division received EPA primary authority, primacy, to regulate Class II wells. The main features of the UIC program include permitting, inspection, enforcement, mechanical integrity testing, plugging and abandonment oversight, data management, and public outreach.

  4. L. Little says:

    Look up waste water well maps in the USA. Their are a lot of different types, sickening.

  5. L. Little says:

    Look up Deep Bore Hole drilling, burying nuclear waste in the earth.

  6. L. Little says:

    I went to a protest a couple of years ago concerning Fracking. It was in Sacramento in front of the EPA. Afterwards we went in front of a panel of men who worked for the EPA. They talked first. Then protester were given 2 minuets each to talk. One man on the panel actually laughed when someone told his story about his contaminated water. We were told that it was up to the people to prove that Fracking was unsafe! How can they not disclose all the chemicals they are using? It seem to me that this should be against the law when it effects health/planet.
    It is well known that earthquakes are increasing in Fracking areas and that contamination of water is occurring but the EPA and government officials seem to not care…money talks and they are being bought off. Profit before life….Seems like the ‘people’ should be able to sue for destruction of the planet which is our home.
    People just don’t want to believe that the government would allow such things. All sheeples! When media is owned by corporations the people aren’t told the truth and things are hidden. I know someone who works for a news station in Sacramento and he said their is so much stuff that we need to know that comes through his office but it is all pulled and not talked about on any news station….
    Also, I have a friend in Pennsylvania has natural gas coming out in her water.

  7. Johnny says:

    We have the power to stop this remember Dr Masuru Emoto’s experiments with water.Where 2 or more are gathered mass consciousness.Yes Yes Yes we can do it

  8. Anthony says:

    I just posted this in response to this article on ‘ZenGardner.com’:

    This is beyond insane – but it doesn’t stop there.

    I work for an agency that does water testing on the Sacramento River. My own tests involve performing toxicological studies to determine the effects of river and wastewater on aquatic organisms. For the last year and a half I have observed a steadily increasing amount of toxicity in our water. Intrigued, I decided to look into factors that could be causing this toxicity, since the usual factors we look for were not apparent. Having read of Dane’s plight, I decided to ask our metals analysts if I could see their results for aluminum, strontium, barium, and manganese, just to rule out the possibility that we could be seeing metals migration downriver from Redding.

    Well, guess what: since 2011, we are *no longer required* to do such testing on river water. So, we don’t do it and we won’t do it because of our budget cuts. I looked further into this and found that we did, indeed, do aluminum testing on the river water (on samples from Freeport, CA, just south of Sacramento) from at least 2008 to 2011. It was only about 20 data points, but there is a clear pattern of a baseline level increase in the amount of aluminum in the river of at least one order of magnitude from the start of testing, punctuated by occasional spikes at least one order of magnitude beyond THAT.

    Unfortunately, the testing stopped in Dec. 2011 (and I can’t give specific amounts or dates as I could be fired for doing so), but I would personally be willing to bet that the amount of aluminum (and other metals) has increased over time simply due to the drought concentrating the river contaminants, if for no other reason (and increasing conductivity measurements show that this is indeed happening). So, not only is the groundwater poisoned; our remaining river water most likely is too.

    I wish there were more that I could do…I may go ahead and take some samples and send them to a lab on my own dime, and contact a former friend and metals analyst in my former place of employment and see if we can go over their data to see what trends pop up. Beyond that, even if we do find something, what can we do? Who do we send the data to? And if I did do this, will I end up targeted for a FEMA camp?! This is frustrating as hell.

    In any case, for anyone remaining in CA: as a water scientist, I highly advise you to invest in a GOOD water filter, such as a Berkey filter, that will take out *everything*. Unfortunately, only one model is legal for sale in CA (and I wonder why…/sarc), but it is a good one, as are any others matching their specs.

    Sincerely,

    Anthony

  9. no blue says:

    ..The Governor should place an EXECUTION order…

  10. no blue says:

    Have you tried calling your local, state, or federal officials? Environmental groups? I have! No one knows what I am talking about. No one WANTS to know what is going on. Why can no one see what is happening? It is insane!! They talk to me like I am an idiot with 3 heads. Madness.

  11. no blue says:

    Same in south central Colorado. Why! Why! Why! I am so sick in the mornings I can hardly breath. My dogs are sick, my neighbors are sick. We are all sick and no one questions, “Why?” HOW can we stop this insanity! It MUST end, or it’s all over. Humans I can understand the gov wanting to kill, over greed. But all life? It is madness. No one wants to listen. What is wrong with people? Bless you, June. Our prayers must be heard. SOS SOS SOS SOS SOS SOS

  12. PJ says:

    I have yet to understand the purpose of destroying CA? WHY? Why are they doing this? Do they want to kill off the crops? CA supplies 90-95% of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts for the Nation, so why would anyone do this? Do they want to control our food supply? Sounds like it to me.

  13. Katos Wehttam says:

    I was up in Astoria Oregon last week, the tide went out one evening and there were “Thousands” of dead, full grown Dungeness crabs, as far down the beach as you could see. They said the oxygen level in the water went to low. “Yeah right”?

  14. Stefan says:

    The fact is that these ARE acts of ecocidal and democidal environmental Terrorism! Politely making phone calls and patiently writing letters to the very authorities and representatives in legislative bodies, who are knowingly complicit and thus betrayed the public trust while pretending to do otherwise, seems so futile!
    What do we think they are going to do, realistically? Their [re-]election campaigns are paid for by Industry and not going along might even cause them to live more in fear of those direct consequences, rather than the not-too-distant future ones? Perhaps, the lure of big money and an ‘escape route’ is what motivates them? It seems this will get very ugly, very soon, while our numbers are small vs the vast majority of the unaware, the apathetic and the indifferent and those in tragic denial of what is so.

  15. June says:

    Dane, thank you for organizing this site and educating us all. You are truly a humanitarian. How can intentional contamination of the water go unnoticed? There should be protest in the streets and every media outlet should be covering this story. What is going on here?

    Geoengineering was clearly taking place over Tucson today. I have the Skyder Alert Ap, so I took pictures and had them forwarded to government officials. I contacted three local news media outlets on Oct. 3, the last time aerosol spraying in the skies above Tucson was blantantly obvious. Only one reporter would talk to me. As far as I know he did nothing to inform the Tucson people.

    Whenever the spraying occurs I get cold-like symptoms. So, I’ve had a “cold” since October 3 and today my lungs feel even tighter. I know it’s because of the aerosol spraying.

    How can we stop this intentional poisoning of the planet and all of life?

  16. Aaron Hayden says:

    F**k it!!!! Might as well commit suicide. Who the f**k wants to live in a hell Planet , where nothing seems to get better. There’s no hope anymore . I guess evil does win in the end. They have free range to do anything they want and people are so brain dead they won’t believe you if tell them.

  17. marlene says:

    You’ve got to be kidding! While the EPA is restricting our very survival by measuring our carbon footprints, they turn around and allow Big Business to poison our water??? Un-freakin-believable. By taking away our guns, quarantining us, instituting martial law, preparing FEMA camps to barricade us and causing us to die on the multitude of battlegrounds and from plagues, they quash our voices, remove our ability to take action and render us – We The People – helpless and harmless. You’ve got to be kidding!

  18. FIX IT STUPID says:

    Incompetent by design
    GOVERNMENT= corporate interests
    SLAVES They Don’t Want Any More

  19. Nicole says:

    I feel like the comments here continue to be as though we are all spectators, and not activists. MAKE A PHONE CALL.

  20. David says:

    California Governor Brown is a follower not a shaker:he just signed a law giving the state control over the water;even under private property, don’t expect anything from him. If we vote Democrat or Republican: we’ll get the same ‘ole and shouldn’t complain; embrace any other party. We have to break their stranglehold, and also demand term limits. Peace and many blessings to you all, David.

  21. Jane says:

    They are nuts. Kill Kill Kill. Poisoning people and everything on the planet for Greed.

  22. SkywatcherGrandma says:

    I found a map that said 32 states had been fracked. It was dated Jan 2013. Makes you wonder if it’s not in every state by now. This is another case of the rich elite doing more polluting and killing of our beautiful planet because of their greed. Yet the people will have to pay the carbon tax they want, but they’ll get out of paying. Just like most big corporations pay no taxes. How much money do they need? How will they spend it when the planet is dead? Is there anything on this planet they don’t want to destroy? I’m furious over what is being done to CA and also the rest of the country, the world. Geoengineering, fracking, fluoride, GMO’s, vaccines, the list is endless. I’m so sick of all this! When will it end? We need wind and solar.

  23. Steven Chamberlain says:

    http://peninsulaclarion.com/topic/coming-clean-arness-septage-site
    Dear Bella_Fantasia, We live in Nikiski. There are several of these waste injection wells or waste dump sites in or area. One of them is right in the middle of Kenai where THEY are pumping drilling waste directly into a once clean deep aquifer at a depth of about 5,000 feet. I’m afraid its only going to get worse with all of the fracking and the giant gas plant that is coming to Nikiski. I have attached a link to a story from the Peninsula Clarion called Coming Clean. This is where my activism began. I’ve been trying to get Bob Shavelson from the Inlet Keeper to cover Geoengineering, maybe you could help by contacting him at bob@inletkeeper.org Thank you for your interest. Its nice to hear from activists from Alaska. You can contact me at Charlie’s Pizza at (907)776-8778

  24. Bella_Fantasia says:

    @Randy Hanson and Steve Chamberlain

    Where are you two on the Kenai that this is happening? I’m in Anchorage, and I’d very much like to make this public. I know a few people and can write letters. I’m not afraid to let people know what’s really going on and voice my profound displeasure.

    I’ll look for a response here or I can be found at Truthdig, Truthout or Alternet comment sections. Keep up the good fight and thanks.

  25. Randy Hanson says:

    We feel your pain, Steve. We are the nut jobs in this neighborhood. I have been fighting, the good fight, to open eyes. It seems denial to reality is what they prefer. It won’t be long, now, before that reality will be shattered! One of these days, Julie and I, will have to have a pizza at your wonderful Charlie’s Pizza and have a nice visit. I have plenty to tell you, plus, I am all ears.

  26. Peter Lawlor says:

    Dane, what in God’s name can we do to stop this insane obscenity. I live in Ireland and have seen the ‘Chemtrails’ in our own skies. Only became aware of them in last couple years. What can we do? And who can we contact to stop this Evil?…

  27. Tony Browne says:

    So sad to hear about this guys, but they are killing everyone on the planet. Please get together, leave messages on roads walls ect. Have a meeting and march on your cities.God bless and good luck.

  28. Bella_Fantasia says:

    As if it wasn’t bad enough that fracking waste was being dumped into the Pacific. God, there must be so much waste they can’t keep up with it! Isn’t it bad enough the EPA gives exemptions for frackers to pollute certain aquifers? Why bother with the paperwork, and pump it wherever. I’m outraged and overwhelmed and cannot even write a cohesive comment. What are we going to do?

  29. Bella_Fantasia says:

    This is beyond greed. It must be stopped. Will the CA EPA say something publicly or do anything at all? This is a scorched Earth policy. The fossil fuel extractors have come to the end. Cheap extraction is over. They cannot prosper without holding us hostage. If their heirs and assigns cannot inherit the Earth, then nobody will have it. Apres moi, le deluge. . . .

  30. Steven Chamberlain says:

    Look at this guy smiling in the picture. Only a psychopath would smile while pumping toxic waste into an aquifer.

  31. Steven Chamberlain says:

    To knowingly poison an aquifer is an Act of War! THEY are doing the same thing here on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. This criminal disposal of toxic drilling waste into our aquifers was my first reason to become an activist, but my community refused to join the fight. Then I awoke to Geoengineering and warned everyone in my community and still they refuse to fight. I will never give up! When ship goes down I want my children to remember that I did All that I could to stop it. When the deniers are gasping for clean air and drinking poisoned groundwater I want them to say “I guess that CRAZY GUY at Charlie’s Pizza Wasn’t CRAZY after all.”

  32. Annemarie G Wouda says:

    STOP poisoning the air, land and water, there you are doing is KRIMINELT AND will some day backfire on yourselves ..

  33. Sr. Gladys Marhefka says:

    Please speak the TRUTH TO POWER not only on this website. Thanks.

  34. Cori Gunnells says:

    This is pure evil, on the order of the previous article about psychopaths. The governor should place an executive order to immediately halt all Fracking in California. Repeat/routine testing needs to be done by several certified labs (comparing results), and charged to the oil companies involved. In my mind this is beyond greed – it’s the cabal doing it’s dirty deed to extract whatever they want to extract, with zero consequence. No more. It’s killing, murder… The operators should be locked up and have the keys thrown away. I fear what is done is done. I don’t know how those toxins can ever be recovered, making way for a safe water supply again?

  35. Casey miller says:

    Fracking. You’re killing human life in the desert of southeastern Kern County you guys are knowingly doing it in low income areas it is bullshit and you will be stopped Will not stop until something is done there’s been over eight people died in the last two months in my area from cancer my body looks bad, I am 34 years old and I am sick and tired of feeling like this over corporate greed are you guys care about is money you’re killing me and God knows that I am not going down without a fight, take your corporate office and shove it. Problem with the world today is corporate greed all of these over seas international billion-dollar companies don’t give a damn about the United States health over a penny what my life’s a whole lot more than a penny and I will see to it I will not go down without a fight or you will be buying me a life

  36. Casey miller says:

    I am very sick all of a sudden I have a heart disease lung problems I’m terminal to the WHO I live within a mile of a fracking well in central California I will do whatever it takes to put a stop to this bullshit

  37. Gloria says:

    What are we gonna do? Everyday more and more evil.

  38. Jo An Burdick - Gottlieb says:

    STOP CONTAMINATING OUR UNDERWATER WITH CONTAMINATED FLUIDS.STOP INJECTING OUR WELLS THAT ARE NEEDED FOR DRINKNG WATER.

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