John Noël - Oil and Gas Campaigns Coordinator

US Map with Aquifer Exemptions plotted

Challenging Oil and Gas Industry Practice of Legally Polluting Sources of Drinking Water

March 25, 2016

On March 23, we sent a legal petition to EPA requesting the Agency revoke or amend its rules governing Aquifer Exemptions.

Kern River Oil Field in California. Photo credit: Andrew Grinberg / Clean Water Action

Our Latest Trip Around the Sun: A 2015 Collection of Articles and Insights

January 3, 2016

Highlights from some of Clean Water's favorite insights and developments this year in the world of oil and gas, drinking water protection and climate change.

Non-potable water on an oil field. Photo credit: Andrew Grinberg / Clean Water Action

Scientists Agree EPA’s Study on Fracking and Drinking Water Needs Revision

December 18, 2015

EPA’s multi-year multimillion-dollar study of the impacts of fracking on drinking water on resources is important and will inform the debate around expanded oil and gas development for years to come.

This Week the Fight for the Environment Rages On

December 1, 2015

This week kicks off the highly anticipated Conference of the Parties (#COP21) meeting in Paris. Virtually every country in the world has agreed to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and this meeting will hash out how exactly how the world can reach our collective goal. World leaders agree that the climate is changing rapidly, the impacts are happening now, humans activities are the leading cause, and the world needs to take action, now.

Pipeline, Mt. Poso

The Golden State Exemptions Part 2: The Aquifer Exemption Resistance

October 8, 2015

Resistance to erasing a drinking water source from potential use is happening in many communities like San Luis Obispo.

The Golden State Exemptions: California Aquifers Are Being Lost to the Oil and Gas Industry

October 6, 2015

In January, Clean Water Action exposed a little known secret in the Safe Drinking Water Act that lets oil and gas companies dispose of their wastewater and conduct oil and gas extraction activities directly in potential sources of drinking water. The secret is called an “aquifer exemption”.

Pope Francis: Bringing it in DC

September 28, 2015

On Thursday morning I joined tens of thousands of people on the National Mall for the Rally for Climate Justice. Inside the Capitol, Pope Francis delivered a moving speech to Congress. Outside, large screens projected the Pope to the thousands gathered on the lawn. People were transfixed - you could hear a pin drop in the crowd for the entire 45 minute speech. I’ve lived in DC for almost 6 years and have seen a lot of political speeches and the general pomp and circumstance including election nights, inaugurations, Earth Days, festivals and countless rallies and protests. But seeing the Pope address Congress and lay out his vision and hope for our country and the world over was surreal.

Exposing Drinking Water Threats from Oil & Gas Activities

September 17, 2015

 We’re honored to have a feature article on Aquifer Exemptions in the most recent Journal of the American Water Works Association (AWWA). AWWA is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water and Journal AWWA is widely read in the world of drinking water.

5 Ways to Improve EPA’s Fracking and Drinking Water Study

September 4, 2015

Over the summer the Environmental Protection Agency released a draft report about fracking's impacts on drinking water. Unfortunately there were big data gaps that meant researchers couldn't offer the robust conclusions we need. But that didn't stop EPA from declaring that there were "no widespread impacts" to drinking water due to fracking in its press release announcing the study. There's just one problem - that statement doesn't actually reflect the findings and scope of the report.

Fracking: It’s Complicated and Industry Would like to Keep It That Way

August 5, 2015

Last month two reports were released highlighting the nuances that don’t appear in oil and gas industry PR campaigns. First, is the conventional idea that fracking always occurs far below the surface many miles beneath any aquifer. This separation between the actual fracking of the rock and aquifers, we are told, is the key to protecting potential sources of drinking water.