EPA plans to allow unlimited dumping of fracking wastewater in the Gulf of Mexico

Center for Biological Diversity

Despite claims from activist groups like the Center for Biological Diversity, operators are not allowed to dump “unlimited fracking wastewater” into the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, they’re wrong about several things (shocker, we know). First, these groups are referring to a permit granted by the U.S. EPA, which allows for the regulated discharge of wastewater from offshore oil and gas development offshore (it’s sometimes called an NPDES, if you’re interested in the nitty gritty). The permit sets limits on the amount that can be discharged, requires monitoring and testing of wastewater, as well as other provisions to ensure this does not hurt water quality or people’s health. Fractivists don’t like to mention that stuff, because it’s not so scary now, is it?

Additionally, fracking isn’t often used in offshore oil and gas production. Even when fracking is used, it’s done on a much smaller scale, using just two percent of the volume of water typically used for onshore operations. Not only does the NPDES permit require operators to follow strict regulations when it comes to discharging wastewater (i.e. not “unlimited”), the vast majority of it isn’t even from fracking.

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