US groundwater in peril: potable water supply less than thought

photo: a private, potable groundwater well in New Mexico, USA

Photo: A groundwater well near Estancia, New Mexico. Credit: Debra Perrone

The U.S. groundwater supply is smaller than originally thought, according to a new research study that includes a University of Arizona hydrologist.

The study provides important insights into the depths of underground fresh and brackish water in some of the most prominent sedimentary basins across the U.S.

The research by scientists from the University of Saskatchewan, the UA and … [more…]

Fracking wastewater accumulation found in freshwater mussels’ shells

photo by Westcott Phillip: Elliptio complanate, freshwater mussel, one of the two species used in the experiment.

Photo: The Elliptio complanate freshwater mussel, one of the two species used in the experiment. Credit: Westcott Phillip

Elevated concentrations of strontium, an element associated with oil and gas wastewaters, have accumulated in the shells of freshwater mussels downstream from fracking wastewater disposal sites, according to researchers from Penn State and Union College.

"Freshwater mussels filter water and when they grow a hard shell, the shell material records some of … [more…]

Gulf of Mexico oil spill much worse than thought, federal lawyers say

photo: opal drilling platform. Gulf of Mexico oil spill much worse than thought, federal lawyers say

This April 10, 2011 picture shows a rig and supply vessel in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana. (Gerald Herbert / AP file)

Federal government lawyers say a 14-year-old leak is releasing much more oil each day into the Gulf of Mexico than officials previously claimed, and it may be getting worse.

A Friday court filing in a case involving Taylor Energy Co. says 10,000 to 30,000 … [more…]

California’s Looming Water Pollution Problem, Produced Water

photo: Tom Frantz standing in standing groundwater in a grove of almond tress. California's Looming Water Pollution Problem: produced water

Tom Frantz on his almond grove in Shafter, California. (Photo: Jonas Jungblut)

In California’s Central Valley, the oil industry has been dumping wastewater into unlined—and under-regulated—ponds, threatening the state’s limited groundwater and the humans who rely on it.

In the winter of 2001, Tom Frantz and a friend were cruising in his pick-up truck along a stretch of Highway 33 in Kern County, California. Known as the Petroleum Highway, this … [more…]

Report: over half PA gas wells used ‘secret’ chemicals for fracking or drilling

photo: US EPA logo on window or door. More than half PA gas wells used ‘secret’ chemicals for fracking or drilling, report says

Drillers withheld information on at least one chemical in some 2,500 wells, citing trade secrets

Energy companies in Pennsylvania declined to identify potentially harmful chemicals used for drilling and fracking for natural gas in more than half the wells developed between 2013 and 2017, according to a report released on Tuesday.

The report from the Partnership for Policy Integrity, a Massachusetts nonprofit that does research and advocacy on energy policy, … [more…]