America needs a balanced energy policy that promotes energy efficiency, conservation and greater supplies of all forms of energy, including domestic oil and natural gas.
The decline in oil and gas leasing, permitting, and new drilling on the nation’s public lands since 2009 have come at a high cost to America – namely, a significant loss of domestically produced oil and natural gas, thousands of jobs in the energy-rich western United States, and the forfeit of hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal tax revenues, royalties, and lease payments to western states and the U.S. Treasury.
The current regulatory programs for aquifer exemptions are working effectively to protect groundwater as a current and future drinking water source, according to recent reviews. The Safe Drinking Water Act protects qualified underground sources of drinking water. An aquifer exemption is a regulatory designation available in limited and exceptional circumstances - only if an aquifer is neither a current nor a likely future source of drinking water. (See 40 CFR § 146.4.) Aquifer exemptions are granted only after a stringent application, review, and approval process assures that certain regulatory criteria have been met. These applications are reviewed at the federal and/or state level or tribal levels (depending on primacy) and then sent to EPA (where a final determination is made). This paper and summary document explains the current criteria for obtaining an aquifer exemption, while the longer paper also offers an overview of how flexibility in the current UIC program adequately protects both existing and future sources of potential drinking water.