Extreme Extraction Danger

The California Water Impact Network is a statewide organization whose mission is protection of all surface and groundwater sources.

We have seen the dire impacts of extreme energy extraction processes like fracking, acidizing, and steam injection on air and water quality in other places where it has expanded rapidly, and we believe it represents a clear and present danger to our aquifers.

Recent studies highlight these risks. A recent study conducted by Dr. Arturo Keller at UCSB indicates impacts to water quality from various upstream oil production operations in Ventura County. “Several carcinogenic PAHs were identified by the California Toxics Rule (CTR) criteria that could be harmful to human health from consumption of water and aquatic organisms.”

Of further concern, in July, California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources shut down 11 Kern County oil field injection wells due to concern that this polluted wastewater was being injected directly into groundwater supplies used for drinking and agriculture. This month the Central Valley Water Board reported the results of testing of nearby water-supply wells. They found that arsenic, nitrate, and thallium exceeded the maximum contaminant level in half the water samples. Arsenic is a toxic chemical that can cause cancer.

As these examples show, increased oil production brings with it increased risk to water resources. Santa Barbara County cannot spare any of its limited water for such a destructive and hazardous process. Vote “yes” on Measure P.

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