Exposing Aquifer Exemptions

We are working to ensure that aquifers that could be used for drinking water are not sacrificed to the fossil fuel industry. Aquifer exemptions prioritize the fossil fuel industry over drinking water by writing off groundwater forever.

Aquifer Exemptions: The Report

Aquifer Exemptions: Sacrificing Groundwater for Oil and Gas Production

The Aquifer Exemption program in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Underground Injection Control (UIC) program allows certain oil and gas and mining activity to occur in groundwater that would otherwise be protected as a drinking water source. 

Money in Politics Cover

The Chilling Effect of Oil and Gas Money on Our Democracy

The oil and gas industry, aided by the erosion of campaign finance laws and nearly boundless lobbying budgets, asserts enormous influence over legislative processes in real time while also enjoying legacy influence in regulatory frame- works. The results can be devastating to the health of the environment and the public.

US Map with Aquifer Exemptions plotted

Sacrificing Water for Oil and Gas Profit

The Aquifer Exemption program in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Underground Injection Control (UIC) program allows certain oil and gas and mining activity to occur in groundwater that would otherwise be protected as a drinking water source. 

New Report Raises Questions About Colorado Oil and Gas Injection Wells and Threat to Drinking Water Sources

“Turning over aquifers to fossil fuel companies for injection should only be done with the most extreme caution - if at all. Colorado regulators do not even keep a list of which aquifers have been handed over to the industry, and EPA’s list is full of holes,” said report author, Andrew Grinberg.

From We All Live Downstream

Roadmap to Reform Report cover image
April 7, 2021

The oil and gas industry wields enormous political power. Massive spending on elections and lobbying, a relentless spin machine and agency capture at all levels of government have given fossil fuel companies outsized influence on our political, legislative and regulatory processes.