Action Alert: Protect Our Fields and Food Systems From “Produced Water”

photo from Rio Grande National Heritage Association

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) is currently considering allowing the use of “Produced Water” on agricultural crops, livestock, road spreading, aquifer injection, and dumping into arroyos streams and rivers – what they call ‘beneficial use.’

NOW is a critical time to make our voices heard and to oppose the use of Produced Water in our fields and food systems. The oil and gas industry is pushing hard for legislation that will allow this – we need to push back.

What You Can Do

1) Attend a Hearing and Voice Your Opposition to the Use of Produced Water

In the fall of 2019, the NMED is holding five public meetings on this topic. After the meetings, it will develop a summary of the input received.

Plan to attend a meeting in your area. Use this Sierra Club form to RSVP about your attendance. (Note that if you use that RSVP form, the Sierra Club might offer support to attend in the way of gas cards, hotel and food stipends.)

You can learn more about this issue and prepare yourself with talking points with the following resources:

2) Send an Email

Email the New Mexico Environment and Natural Resources Department and express your concerns about the use of produced water in our fields and food system. Click here to find a template and talking points developed by Pause Fracking for Protections and will send the message for you.

What is Produced Water?

The oil and gas industry injects water underground to release oil and gas during fracking. The industrial waste that comes back up is called “produced water,” and it is contaminated both by the chemicals that companies put into it and by the minerals released from the ground.

Peer-reviewed studies have shown that even treated wastewater has carcinogenic contaminants that are not regulated and unknown contaminates that have been covered-up by industry as “Trade Secrets” and lacks the transparency of what is in the water.

Want to learn more? Check out this Produced Water fact sheet from the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter.