On Sept 30, 2019 YUCCA & ABQ Climate Strikers delivered the following letter to Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham. On October 30th, we return to demand action.
Then, we'll go have dinner outside while we prep & then take by storm the Fracking Water Re-Use hearing at St. Francis Auditorium 331 Sandoval St.
You may know that the oil & gas industry injects water underground to release oil and gas during fracking. The industrial waste that comes back up is called "produced water," and it is contaminated both by the chemicals that companies put into it and by the minerals released from the ground. Companies have to figure out what to do with the wastewater that comes back up.
Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) is a dangerous drilling practice that produces a chemical-laced wastewater concoction. After drilling down to a rock formation that holds oil or natural gas, millions of gallons of water mixed with chemi- cals and a proppant are injected under extreme pressure to fracture (or “frack”) the rock.1 The proppant keeps the fractures ajar, enabling oil or natural gas to flow up the well.2 The water mixture pumped underground eventually flows back up out of the well as wastewater.3
Public resources should not be exploited to help an industry deal with its enormous wastewater problem. Instead, New Mexico should invest in a swift transition to 100 percent renewable energy sources, including tapping into its enormous potential for solar power.
Oil and gas wastewater has no place in our food system. New Mexico’s wastewater reuse regulations must prohibit the use of drilling wastewater on cropland and pasture, as well as livestock watering and aquifer recharging.
Wastewater may include hazardous chemicals using in drilling, including known/suspected carcinogens, and chemicals that harm developmental and reproductive health.1
Wastewater also contains naturally-occurring substances like heavy metals and radioactive materials that are linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, and damage to the respiratory and immune systems. 2
New Mexico cannot regulate what it does not know. Through trade secret loopholes, companies can hide the names of chemicals used in drilling fluids, making it impossible for regulators to address all potential hazards.
Treating wastewater for agricultural reuse may generate more toxic waste. The state suggests injecting effluent (liquid byproduct of treatment) into underground storage wells, and sending sludge to solid waste facilities – hardly a model of “recycling.”3
If you can't make it to the hearing you can also submit a comment via email to NMED here - firstname.lastname@example.org
Image attribution - "Fracking Wastes" by facesoffracking is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0