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Wastewater reuse rule hearing moved to week of August 5th, and Ethics Complaint filed against Water Quality Control Commissioner

Friends, the continuation of the fracking waste Reuse hearing was put off again to the first week in August - from August 5th to August 9th. Meanwhile reuse proponents are hard at work promoting their fantasy of creating "new water" from fracking waste at a series of talks hosted by Chevron and headlined by New Mexico Environment Department employees, and most recently at the interim legislative water sub-committee in Carlsbad. Reports from these events will be coming soon.

Yesterday also New Energy Economy and 16 other organizations that are part of the Defend NM Water campaign filed an ethics complaint against one of the Water Quality Control Commissioners - Krista McWilliams - because of her numerous conflicts of interest as the VP of an oil and gas company engaged in fracking waste recycling and disposal. New Energy Economy also joined two intervenors in the case to file a Joint Motion for Disqualification based on the same issues.

In the meantime, thanks to water defenders who have been speaking up in the press to expose the dangers that the wastewater reuse rule poses to our precious water:

Colin Cox and Krystal F. Curley call out the NM Environmental Department's support of the reuse rule and the department's "hands off" approach. "The proposed regulations call for “appropriate” treatment, but even scientists at the Environment Department have said that no one knows how to make this toxic fracking waste safe for reuse, and that more research is needed to figure out if it is even possible to clean this waste enough to reuse it." OpEd#1

Retired hydrologist Steve Conrad poked holes in the "logic" the Oil and Gas representatives are using to persuade us to pay them to poison our water. "And perhaps most importantly, this wastewater can often be far saltier than sea water. If removing this salt were economically viable, every coastal community would be meeting their water needs by desalinating sea water. But they don’t. Because it isn’t."OpEd#2

Julia Bernal cites the experience of Texas and Pennsylvania with disposal of toxic produced water. "A study conducted in the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin in Pennsylvania, oil and gas operators were permitted to take their waste from conventional drilling to permitted treatment facilities to release treated effluent into rivers and found elevated activities of radium in the stream sediment. The study also mentioned that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection prohibited the treatment and release of unconventional O&G waste, because of high saline discharge." OpEd#3

This is great work AND we need MORE. Here is what you can do now:

Legend/terms for those getting started:

PW Produced Water

NMED New Mexico Environment Department

WQCC Water Quality Control Commission

PWRC Produced Water Research Consortium

EMNRD New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department



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