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TAKE ACTION TO DEFEND
OUR WATER, OUR QUERENCIA, OUR LIFE

The Produced Water Act, legislation spearheaded by the oil and gas industry, passed in 2019 during Governor Lujan Grisham’s first year in office, opening the door to produced water reuse with the creation of the Produced Water Research Consortium and a permitting process for pilot projects.  

The draft Wastewater Reuse Rule (WQCC 23-84) at the Water Quality Control Commission is the next step in that long term effort, seeking to set definitions and permitting processes that will pave the way for expanding reuse outside the oil field to demonstration and industrial projects throughout the state that require only a Notice of Intent and include no treatment standards.

THE PRODUCED WATER REUSE RULE HEARING IS MAY 13TH 2024 AT THE CAPITOL BUILDING - ROOM 317.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

SIGN OUR PETITION TO SAY HELL NO!

The draft Wastewater Reuse Rule (WQCC 23-84) at the Water Quality Control Commission was proposed to solve the oil and gas industry's enormous waste problem by expanding on toxic fracking waste reuse, aka produced water, experimentation outside of the oil field for the eventual goal of reuse for "agriculture, irrigation, potable water supplies, aquifer recharge, industrial processes or environmental restoration.” We are calling on the New Mexico Environment Department to withdraw their proposed rule because it fails to safeguard our land, water and health.

 READY TO SAY YOUR PIECE? SIGN UP TO MAKE PUBLIC COMMENT AT THE HEARING STARTING MAY 13TH.

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EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS TO OPPOSE FRACKING WASTE REUSE RULE

HOW DOES THE DRAFT RULE FAIL TO PROTECT OUR WATER?

  • The proposed Wastewater Reuse Rule 23-84, vastly expands produced water reuse to large-scale industrial and demonstration projects off the oil field with no scientifically-based standards for the treatment, handling, or disposal of the toxic and radioactive substance.
     

  • There is no scientific research that supports the treatment of produced water to standards that make it safe for humans or the environment at this scale. Meanwhile, extensive research points to the toxicity and hazardous nature of this waste to human and environmental health. 
     

  • While the rule prohibits discharge of treated or untreated produced water to ground and surface water - there is ample evidence to support the claim that spills will increase with increased reuse. Further the toxic waste, even more highly concentrated after separation and treatment, from demonstration and industrial projects, poses significant threats to New Mexicans health and safety. 
     

  • Requirements for  “closed loop” projects and projects that do not plan to discharge into ground and surface water are inadequate protections given the overwhelming evidence of the state’s failure to protect New Mexicans from oil and gas spills and illegal discharges from oil and gas operations, which take place daily throughout the state. For example, in the Permian, 38,741 spills took place in 2022. In relation to the handling of produced water specifically, 616 produced water spills were reported in 2022 in the Permian and statewide an average of 4 spills takes place per day. The vast majority of spills have been met with no penalty enforcement by state agencies. The transportation and waste disposal associated with large-scale demonstration and industrial projects contemplated in the Rule pose significant additional threats to New Mexico’s waterways, land, and human health. 
     

  • All use of produced water off the oil field, including any experimental industrial and demonstration reuse projects, should be prohibited unless and until proven standards exist for adequate protections for workers and community members. 
     

  • The Water Conservation Commission must comply with the requirements that its rules are based in sound scientific evidence in order to protect public health and the environment.
     

  • This Rule is a bailout of the oil and gas industry’s waste problem - instead of holding the industry accountable for their waste and addressing the problem at its source – the oil and gas production process, this Rule authorizes risky and dangerous experiments to dispose of produced water through “reuse”. 
     

  • This Rule should be understood in its political and historical context. It moves forward an energy and water resource management agenda that is devoid of scientific standards and that socializes the risks, costs, and long-term liabilities of dangerous experiments to the public. This rule creates the mechanisms for the state to pursue Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration’s plan to commodify and repackage fracking waste as a new source of “water” and use public funding to subsidize the dangerous experimental use of this toxic waste in commercial enterprises throughout the state under the umbrella of the “Strategic Water Supply” including the subsidization of the production of hydrogen energy - at great cost and risk to the public good.

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