Oil and gas waste pits have contaminated drinking water in Texas

According to the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District in Texas, pits containing waste from oil and gas drilling have leaked, leading to the contamination of the drinking water for four families. According to the news report, in Texas these pits are allowed to be less than ten feet from drinking water supplies!

This is not the first time a leaking pit has led to groundwater contamination. One example is a case in Colorado, where a local citizen drank water tainted with benzene. In New Mexico, state officials found more than 700 incidents of groundwater contamination by substances in pits.

Oil and gas waste can be very toxic and threaten human health and the environment, yet it is exempt from our federal hazardous waste rules. Because state regulatory programs across the country are inadequate, NRDC has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to rewrite the old rules and start regulating toxic oil and gas waste under the rules for hazardous waste. There are many cost-effective methods that allow the oil and gas industry to manage its waste in safer ways -- it is time to close the loophole and ensure that the oil and gas industry has to follow the same hazardous waste rules as other industries.

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