Center for Biological Diversity

Media Advisory, January 10, 2017

Contact: Patrick Sullivan, (415) 517-9364,

Livermore Residents in Hazmat Suits to Rally Against Plan to Sacrifice Water to Big Oil

LIVERMORE, Calif.— Livermore residents and Center for Biological Diversity members wearing hazmat suits and flanked by toxic waste barrels will rally tomorrow at Livermorium Plaza against a plan to sacrifice local underground water to the oil industry. The rally will take place ahead of a public hearing held by state oil regulators on this "aquifer exemption" plan.

The proposal — announced last month by California's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources — seeks to exempt a Livermore-area aquifer from protection under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. If the exemption is approved, oil giant E&B Natural Resources could expand its operations and use underground water below as a permanent disposal site for oil-waste fluid.

What: Rally to stop Livermore water sacrifice to Big Oil

Who: Livermore residents and members of the Center for Biological Diversity

Where: The rally will be at Livermorium Plaza, 116 S. Livermore Avenue (east corner of First St. and S. Livermore). The state's public hearing will be at Livermore City Council Chambers, 3575 Pacific Avenue.

When: Wednesday, January 11. Rally starts at 4 p.m.; public hearing begins at 5 p.m.

A Center analysis of the Livermore aquifer exemption proposal found troubling risks and grave deficiencies. Oil-waste injections in this location would contaminate an aquifer with water many times less salty than seawater, at a time when desalination is ramping up in the state.

The application fails to prove that injected oil waste will not migrate beyond the proposed exemption boundaries. That could endanger nearby water sources: Seven domestic and two irrigation water-supply wells lie within a quarter-mile of the proposed exemption boundary.

The exemption application argues that the Greenville Fault on the aquifer's border will help contain waste fluid injected into this zone. But Greenville is an active fault that suffered a magnitude 5.8 earthquake near Livermore in 1980. Oil-industry wastewater injection has been implicated in earthquakes in Oklahoma, Texas and California. Even minor tremors could endanger other nearby water supplies by opening up pathways to contamination.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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