Over 9 billion gallons of hazardous waste are injected underground every year.

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What makes underground toxic waste so dangerous is that most of us are unaware of its existence: it is invisible to our basic senses, and we have little knowledge of its true extent. Industries that inject waste underground waste don’t monitor it after disposal. Government agencies that are supposed to regulate underground toxic waste don’t know where it goes except through highly speculative computer modeling.  There are no plans for dealing with emergencies arising specifically from the unexpected appearance of injected toxic waste.

About all we know about underground toxic waste is that it is very dangerous and the volume of it is huge. So huge, in fact, that it seems beyond the imagination to comprehend. Every year, more than nine billion gallons of hazardous waste is injected underground by the petro-chemical and other industries. More than two billion gallons of toxics-containing brine from oil and gas operations are injected underground every day. Plus, billions of gallons of automotive, industrial, sanitary and other unknown wastes are injected underground every year. These practices have been going on since the 1950s, in the case of hazardous industrial waste, and even longer with oil and gas drilling waste. But it has only been since the 1970s that the 800,000 injection wells in the US have been even minimally regulated.



We Are Living On A Timebomb

There are currently 103 active hazardous waste injection wells in Texas, concentrated mostly along the coast. The volume of the waste being put into the ground is staggering. Near Beaumont, chemical giant duPont Company is injecting around a billion gallons of hazardous waste a year.

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What Lies Beneath

Cecile Carson’s a high school art teacher who picked a little swath of Wise County near the small town of Decatur, about 35 miles north of Fort Worth, to settle down. She lived in a travel trailer for the first three years while she designed and built her home. The place is well thought out—its colors blend with the surrounding landscape of green, rolling hills.
It took Carson 10 years to get to this point. But it took the Railroad Commission of Texas about 45 seconds to put it all in jeopardy.

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Deep Injection Wells
(permitting process)

EPA needs to involve communities earlier
Although EPA provides opportunities for public comment on proposed
commercial Class I deep injection wells as required by regulations, these
opportunities come late in the process, after a draft permit has been
prepared and this timing may limit the extent to which concerns are

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