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Green groups file lawsuit against EPA over waste disposal rules

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Green groups file lawsuit against EPA over waste disposal rules

Agroup of community and environmental organizations filed a federal lawsuitagainst the U.S. EPA in a call to update its oil and gas waste disposal rules.

Inthe suit filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, thegroups asked the court to set strict deadlines for the federal regulator toupdate the rules, according to a May 4 news release.

"Updatedrules for oil and gas wastes are almost 30 years overdue," EnvironmentalIntegrity Project Senior Attorney Adam Kron said. "Each well now generatesmillions of gallons of oil and gas wastewater and hundreds of tons of solidwastes, and yet EPA's inaction has kept the most basic, inadequate rules in place."

Inparticular, the organizations are pushing for the EPA to address problemsrelated to the handling and disposal of oil and gas waste to preventearthquakes and the practice of spreading fracking wastewater onto roads orfields which could lead to drinking water contamination.

"Rightnow, companies can get rid of their toxic mess in any number of dangerousways—from spraying it on icy roads, to sending it to landfills with oureveryday household trash, to injecting it underground where it can endangerdrinking water and trigger earthquakes," Natural Resources Defense CouncilSenior Policy Analyst Amy Mall said.

The ResourceConservation and Recovery Act requires for the EPA to review theregulations, the release said. In August 2015, the groups filed a notice oftheir intent to sue the federal regulator in absence of its compliance.

Thegroups who joined the suit include the Environmental Integrity Project, NaturalResources Defense Council, Earthworks, Responsible Drilling Alliance, San JuanCitizens Alliance, West Virginia Surface Owners' Rights Organization, and theCenter for Health, Environment and Justice.