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Are California's Aquifers Poisoned?

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posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 08:36 PM
I came across this article on Counterpunch this morning and can't resist sharing it for two reasons.

1) Because this is a very real danger to most of the Fresh Fruits and Veges grown in the US, organic and non.


2) Because of the wonderfully snarky tone of the piece.

I'll start with the meat of the matter, the alarming news:

The California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources temporarily shut down as of July 18lth, several oil and gas wastewater injection wells over concerns about contamination of the state’s aquifers.

But, back to the origin of the story, allegedly, somebody is polluting California’s aquifers, and that “somebody” appears to be oil & gas fracking, but the matter is still under investigation. So, nobody really knows for sure just yet, but the big pointy finger is gravitating in the direction of drilling fluids.

Here’s the issue in a nutshell: Over the years, oil and gas drillers have had carte blanche access to at least 100 of the state’s aquifers, which aquifers were presumed, by the state of California, to be useless because of poor water quality and/or depth of the water, too deep, too costly to drill (editorial: Except for when water is running out, like now.) These “useless” underground pools of water have served as a dumping ground for oil and gas drilling wastes, probably toxic, almost assuredly, and not suitable for drinking or for irrigation. As it happens, those aquifers are “exempt” from regulations by state water authorities (remember, Bam Bam exempted the federal EPA from interfering in these matters.)

Now on to the equally alarming how's, why's and whatfors phased in deserved snark (this author has a gift) and the answer to who Bam Bam is:

That fact alone leads to one inescapable conclusion: Will humanity ever break away from the darkness of Dick Cheney (the subtext to this article)?

As it happened, because of Darth Vader Cheney’s tricky maneuvers a decade ago whilst serving as VP of the United States of America, today the “Halliburton Loophole” is haunting California’s tenuous water situation.

The Halliburton Loophole is a reference to the 2005 Federal Energy Bill, which stripped the EPA of its authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing, invented by Halliburton, where Dick “Boom Boom” Cheney served as CEO before he became W’s “guide dog.”

But, however, and furthermore…this recent indecent incident, whether eventually found to be factual or not, tells a tale, a sad tale of insensitivity and stupidity all the way up to the top, of how America’s flirtation with the rawest elements of neoliberal capitalism has transformed an entire country into a loathsome basket case that is tainted by nauseating political favoritism and distasteful, repugnant, stomach-turning individuals who live for personal ego and power, measured, as far as they care, by the putrid odor of money that is rotten to the core. That is not nation building; repeating, that is not nation building; it is self-aggrandizement, self-serving exploitation at its shameless, detestable worst.

There is a lot of current and historical information in this article, it's an easy and fun read and if you like fresh produce at all - pay attention.
edit on 23-7-2014 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 09:06 PM
Since I learned that California uses more pesticides and other chemicals on their produce than any other state, I haven't bought anything I know is produced in California. Since I know the rules and regulations governing organic food production, I don't usually buy organic from there either. The half life of these chemicals is more than five years, most of the land used to produce the organics was regular farm land before and these chemicals are still in the soil.

I won't buy food from a few states that are poluted and also from a few areas around this neck of the woods.

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 09:15 PM
It seems like there are less and less 'clean' aquifers available. This is a major problem in the US. The EPA looks the other way. Maybe it is because their friends are in the business of selling bottled water.

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 09:21 PM
a reply to: rickymouse

I try to do the same but much of the stuff coming to Canada merely says Product of the USA, so it's really difficult.

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 09:39 PM
Twenty-five years ago you couldn't turn on the teevee in the top 1/2 of the country without seeing an ad for 'clean economical natural gas' along with idyllic cozy family scenes with a winter wonderland pictured out the window, and everybody switched their furnaces over to cheaper gas rather than oil deliveries (and a few hold-outs switched from coal).

After they got everyone switched over, all of a sudden (!) we had a slight lack of natural gas, and the weather got a helluva lot worse. The US now has a deal with Canada that they need to send THEIR natural gas to us, even if they need it themselves (this won't end well) and meanwhile, gas seems to be at such a premium and so rare a resource, that we're fracking the hell out of dozens of states.

Now there's tens of millions of houses sitting in the direct path of the next Arctic Express times a kazillion, and they have no other way to heat their houses, fireplaces that actually heat a 2500 or more SF house being a thing of the past.

So, again I ask, when will We the People hire our own goons in SWAT outfits and give Dick Cheney et al the arrest, trial and conviction (if not something a tad more satisfying) that they so richly deserve?

posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 09:39 PM
a reply to: FyreByrd

Take one look at Nancy Pelosi...there's your answer...

Even though the use of now banned pesticides in California were restricted ...the use of them still continued for many years to run out massive stockpiles. One house I lived in, in Menlo Park Ca, in 1979 was tested for chlordane after my yard was sprayed for an infestation of spiders. I had a crew from the EPA come out to test air in my home and outside.

They told me I might as well move, as the company that did the spraying of my home and property did not follow regulations in mixing the chemicals in the truck tank used for spraying. I was told the half life of the dilute that was used in my home was approx 20 years. Meaning my home was no longer safe to live in. With a newborn in hand. I moved out in one week.

I think the over use of chlorinated hydrocarbons for everything from every single food crop and home gardening for so many years in Ca. will be felt for many years to come. I know people in Ca. who still get it from Mexico for home gardening. I

(General Fact Sheet)
Please refer to the
Technical Fact Sheet
for more technical information.
What is chlordane?

Chlordane is a pesticide first registered in the United States in
. In 1988, all chlordane uses, except its use for
fire ant control in power transformers, were voluntarily canceled in the United States

Chlordane was used against insects on food and non
food agricultural crops, resid
ential lawns and gardens, and in
buildings. It was particularly used against termites in a variety of buildings, including homes
(2, 3)

Chlordane is a mixture of over 50 closely related chemicals. Variations in the makeup of
chlordane can result in
differences in toxicity
(2, 4)
. It is a thick clear to amber liquid. It may be odorless or exhibit a mildly irritating odor

Chlordane still can be legally manufactured
in the United States, but it can only be sold to or used by foreign
countries. Although chlordane can be used to control fire ants in the United States, no products are currently
registered for this use
(5, 6)
Why were uses of
chlordane canceled?

Chlordane uses were canceled based on concerns regarding its potential to cause cancer and its slow break down in
the environment
(2, 5)


posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 09:47 PM
Not talking about pesticides - which are a problem along with GMO's. Doesn't effect the organic crops so much. But water -

Here's news from the 'Right' side of the US.

Former employees of the Pennsylvania Department of Health were ordered by supervisors to ignore complaints about fracking-related health issues and follow a host of other rules to keep the dangers of drilling under wraps — even at the expense of people's health.

The department confirmed the "buzzword list" on Wednesday, stating it was meant to be used as a guideline. As of 2012, the Bureau of Health Planning and Assessment was still passing the list around to staff members and asking them to send health complaints to the Bureau of Epidemiology, which was meant to follow up on the issues separately.

Marshall P. Deasy, a 20-year veteran of the department, said that drilling was the only issue he could remember being censored by supervisors.

edit on 23-7-2014 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 06:55 AM
Thanks Fyrebird!

PA rushed into Fracking like a young man into a strip club.....willy nilly. There weren't State inspectors trained, our last Governor gave away leases at pennies on the dollar and now we have a hot mess. Eastern Ohio is now suffering shallow quakes from the waste water injection wells ( Youngstown area) and it's only a matter of time before it happens here.
Our state downplays the risk's, but two years ago due to all the fresh water pulled out of the Mon, the south hills of PGH's water was undrinkable for an entire summer.

posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 07:09 AM
This is what the koch brothers and others are paying for, deregulation will hurt, or damage possibly kill you and your families.... If the oil companies poison all the USA aquifers then what?

They want smaller government to rid themselves of regulation designed to protect us from industry pollution so they can increase there bottom line.

posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 01:46 PM
a reply to: FyreByrd

TMI. Every time I think it can't get any worse it does. Frackers are exempt from water protection regulations?!? Can't be true. Surely you jest. Thankgawd for the comics. And thank you for posting.


edit on 24/7/14 by soficrow because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 02:40 PM
a reply to: soficrow

The EPA has made it clear to me who they seek to protect.

It is amazing that fracking gets an exemption from the Clean Water Act. It does seem like they want to force us buy the water we drink. Having a clean safe aquifer with 'free' water is no way to create wealth....

Each day, I feel like I am increasingly disgusted by the capitalistic 'way of doing business'.
edit on 24-7-2014 by jrod because: cw

posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 03:40 PM
a reply to: jrod

Uh huh. And did you know? Most bottled water IS tap water. Wotta joke.

posted on Jul, 24 2014 @ 03:55 PM

Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) mandates regulation of underground injection activities in order to protect groundwater resources. SDWA Sec. 1421, 42 U.S.C. § 300h. However, in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which arose out of Vice President Cheney’s Energy Task Force, Congress amended the definition of “underground injection” under the SDWA to specifically exclude “the underground injection of fluids or propping agents (other than diesel fuels) pursuant to hydraulic fracturing operations related to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities.”

Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act was enacted to protect and improve water quality in the nation’s rivers, streams, creeks, and wetlands. One of the major mechanisms it uses to achieve this goal is by requiring permits for all discharges of pollutants to those waters. The law, however, exempts stormwater discharges (surface water runoff resulting from rain or snow) from oil and gas drilling and production activities from this permitting requirement. In addition, the 2005 Energy Policy Act, in addition to the SDWA exemption, broadened this exemption to include stormwater discharge from oil and gas construction activities. Although EPA’s rule to implement this provision was declared unlawful and vacated in NRDC v. EPA, 526 F.3d 591 (9th Cir. 2008), and the agency has not yet promulgated a replacement rule, the underlying statutory exemption remains in effect.”


The threat to our aquifer is very real, and once poisoned will destroy our American way of life, and our economy.

edit on 24-7-2014 by LDragonFire because: (no reason given)

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