According to a report released in August by environmental advocacy group Clean Water Action, over the past three decades, the state of Texas has allowed the drilling of oil and natural gas injection wells in some areas near drinking water sources. Texas claims that these effort pose “little to no risk” to the subterranean reserves.
Texas is being accused of failing to comply with EPA standards that require safeguards near aquifers. The state has allowed thousands of injection wells to be built while almost completely ignoring these federal guidelines. Clean Water Action has pointed out that the Texas Railroad Commission has no idea how many of these wells exist.
A spokesperson for the Railroad Commission said that the commission will use grant funding to verify that permits issued to oil companies do not present a danger to underground water supplies and that it prioritizes water safety.
The Clean Water Action report says the problem is potentially quite serious due to the sheer number of injection wells that have been in operation since 1982. The report concludes that Texas “routinely prioritized the concerns of the oil and gas industry over the long term drinking water needs of Texas residents.”
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