The Texas Legislature is on the verge of passing a bill (House Bill 2771) that would let oil companies discharge fracking wastewater into our rivers and streams. This waste is loaded with toxic chemicals used in fracking operations that treatment plants are ill-equipped to remove. We don’t know what many of these chemicals are because these companies are allowed to hide that information from the public as 'trade secrets'. Wastewater from oil and gas operations is currently injected underground in Texas. This practice has its own risks but is widely considered less damaging than discharging it right into our surface water. What is more, recycling this wastewater in the oil fields is an increasingly viable, better alternative.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has studied this issue for some time, but the studies aren’t done. It makes no sense for Texas to move ahead prior to EPA completing its study. But the legislature is plowing ahead – HB 2771 has already passed the House and the Senate is expected to act on it soon. Worse, the bill would require the state to seek authority from the EPA to allow these discharges by September of 2020, rushing to get permits when an anti-environment administration is in power.
Please contact your state senator TODAY and tell them to OPPOSE House Bill 2771!