The EPA is embarking on a new study to determine how the EPA, states and stakeholders regulate and manage wastewater from the oil and gas industry. Currently, the majority of the large volumes of this wastewater is disposed of by underground injection, but that water can no longer be accessed or used.
Thus, the EPA is inviting stakeholders to consider available approaches to manage this wastewater including addressing questions such as how existing federal approaches to produced water management under the Clean Water Act can interact more effectively with state regulations, requirements or policy needs, and whether any potential federal regulations that may allow for broader discharge of treated produced water to surface waters are supported.
States, industry and nongovernmental organizations are being asked to facilitate conversations. Following this study, EPA will determine if future agency actions are appropriate to further address oil and gas extraction wastewater. Learn more about how you can engage in this discussion here.