The Califonia State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board” for short) recently finalized groundbreaking criteria for monitoring aquifers near fracking operations. Two years after Clean Water Action sponsored legislation to require aquifer testing before and after fracking ,California is now poised to finally have the information needed to understand the impacts of oil and gas development on groundwater. Protecting groundwater from Big Oil may be a key to California’s future. The new Groundwater Monitoring System Criteria outlines oil and gas field monitoring rules, including which chemicals will be investigated during monitoring, appropriate locations for monitoring wells, public reporting requirements and other guidelines. The criteria specify both well by well monitoring that must occur when an operator fracks an individual or groups of wells, in addition to regional groundwater monitoring programs that the State Board will be developing over the coming years.
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