Texas House Allows Dumping Fracking Wastewater Into Texas Rivers, Streams and Lakes

April 16, 2019

Texas House Allows Dumping Fracking Wastewater Into Texas Rivers, Streams and Lakes

Statement of Adrian Shelley, Director, Public Citizen’s Texas Office

NOTE: Today the Texas House of Representatives passed HB 2771, a bill that would start the process of allowing oil and gas companies to dispose of their wastewater from fracking and other operations into surface water bodies in Texas. Surface water is the primary source of drinking water for most Texas cities, including Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Corpus Christi.

If HB 2771 becomes law, the drinking water of millions of Texans could be contaminated by oil and gas wastewater.

While the bill states the water must be “treated” before being discharged, no standards exist for testing or treating the vast majority of the 1,600 chemicals found in fracking wastewater. And because Texas law allows companies to keep secret the names of many of the toxic chemicals in fracking fluids, independent testing and tracking of pollutants is difficult – if not impossible.

The bill will be up for a final “third reading” vote in the House tomorrow. If it passes, as expected, it will then move to the Senate for consideration.

If our lawmakers are concerned about the drinking water of millions of Texans, they will not pass HB 2771 into law.

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