The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has launched an investigation into a Kern County oil producer over concerns about how the company disposes of potentially dangerous fracking wastewater.
Vintage Production California allegedly discharged chemical laced wastewater into an unlined retention pond at a well near Shafter, without required permits.
Fracking, which is also known as hydraulic fracturing, involves the injection of water and chemicals deep into wells in order to stimulate production of hard to extract oil and gas deposits. Environmentalists have raised concerns over how companies dispose of fracking materials.
The water board says the company’s actions put both ground and surface water quality at risk.
The investigation was launched after an activist posted a video online that allegedly depicts the company dumping wastewater into a pond. Once the investigation is complete, the Board could take a number of actions against the company, including a cease and desist order, or push for civil liabilities.
The state’s Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources is currently developing new regulations for fracking in the state, and a separate bill in the State Senate that would tighten fracking regulations passed its first committee vote on Tuesday.