A consortium of environmental groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), has filed a legal notice with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pushing for stricter regulations to prevent oil and gas companies from dumping fracking waste that can harm the environment and threaten public health, the NRDC said in a statement on its website.
The group, which also includes the Environmental Integrity Project, is calling on the EPA to review outdated waste disposal rules, claiming that the current rules should have been revised more than a quarter century ago.
“We’re asking that EPA finally do what it found to be necessary back in 1988: update the regulations for oil and gas wastes,” Adam Kron, attorney at the Environmental Integrity Project, said.
“The oil and gas industry has grown rapidly since then, and yet EPA has repeatedly shirked its duties for nearly three decades. The public deserves better protection than this,” Kron added.
The coalition suggest that the EPA should introduce stricter controls for underground injection wells and should ban the practice of spreading fracking wastewater onto roads or fields to prevent the possible contamination of streams. It also wants the EPA to require that landfills and ponds accepting drilling and fracking waste, to be built in ways that prevent spills and leaks into groundwater and streams.
If EPA does not act within 60 days of the notice letter, the group will file a lawsuit to ask a federal court to set strict deadlines for the EPA to complete the update and strengthening of its regulations for oil and gas wastes.
“We will review the Notice of Intent and any related information submitted to EPA,” agency spokeswoman Laura Allen told The Huffington Post in an email.