The Center for Biological Diversity says even the incomplete data made public by the state shows that oil companies are dumping millions of gallons of oil waste a month into unlined pits and pumping billions of gallons of fluid into injection wells that may threaten protected groundwater.
The oil industry’s noncompliance comes despite a decision by California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources to extend the deadline for the reports, which are required by S.B. 1281, a new state law that aims to track oil companies’ use of fresh water and disposal of toxic waste fluid.
The first quarterly reports were due April 30 but state regulators first extended the deadline to June 1 before finally issuing 289 notices of violation. Even after receiving notices, 104 operators still failed to file a report; however the state says it recently received four reports.
State officials still have not fined companies for refusing to provide water-use information, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.
Photo Credit: oil pump via Shutterstock