Government Accountability Office Says EPA for Not Doing its Job

Posted in: United States Water News
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Article courtesy of Ian James | April 12th, 2016 | The Desert Sun | Shared as educational material.

Recently, a government audit from the Government Accountability Office blamed the EPA for not sufficiently defending drinking water supplies from the expanding amount of wastewater created by the oil and gas commercial enterprises. According to the review, the EPA had not done a suitable oversight of projects that manage infusion wells where common oil and gas companies send tons of wastewater into the ground. Therefore, they cannot appropriately evaluate whether wellsprings of drinking water are being secured the nation over. The administration review likewise found that the EPA has neglected to sufficiently gather data from state and territorial controllers about investigations and other authorization activities.

This isn’t the first time the EPA’s duties were challenged by the GAO. In 2014, The U.S. Government Accountability Office questioned the U.S. Ecological Protection Agency’s abilities to shield underground drinking water sources from pressure-driven cracking for oil and gas. According to the GAO, EPA oversight of fracking wastewater is “not dependable.” It blamed the EPA for not demanding that the 39 states that administer their own water security programs conduct yearly assessments to ensure they successfully oversee dangers to drinking water supplies. In addition, the GAO said the EPA might not have real-time data about these states’ programs.

Oil and gas organizations benefit from many exceptions from government ecological laws managed by the EPA. In any case, the GAO claimed that the EPA was not utilizing what little power it holds to police fracking operations. Another issue GAO mentioned was cash; EPA authorities told the office they had restricted assets to complete their obligations. Therefore, a back-and-forth game between the EPA and government formed, and is one that continues today . Read more about the controversy that the EPA is facing here.

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