Something in the Water

Regulators Say Growing Crops With Oil Wastewater Is Safe, But Evidence Is Scant

A California water board lets oil companies sell their oil field wastewater to farmers. When fears spread that farmers used fracking wastewater, the board retained a “neutral third party” to review the practice and said only wastewater from conventional wells could be used. That “neutral” party, it turns out, has long worked for the oil industry. Experts say the firm’s studies couldn’t support the board’s safety claims, and an Inside Climate News investigation found that both fracking and conventional operations use many of the same chemicals and their produced water carries many of the same risks.