90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mining For Energy Threatens Deeper Water Reserves

Thousands of small black boxes used for uranium mining are scattered across Christensen Ranch in Wyoming. (Abrahm Lustgarten/ProPublica)

Thousands of small black boxes used for uranium mining are scattered across Christensen Ranch in Wyoming. (Abrahm Lustgarten/ProPublica)

The EPA has granted more than 1,500 permits to energy and mining companies to inject dangerous pollutants into aquifers across some of the driest parts of the U.S. Some scientists and environmentalists say we’re going to need that water to drink and grow crops.

ProPublica reporter Abram Lustgarten says the permits are exemptions to the Safe Drinking Water Act, and are based on an old ruling, which says companies can pollute water that is too deep or too difficult to purify for drinking purposes.

But in at least 100 recorded cases, the permits have been granted to pollute aquifers that people are drawing on for drinking water. In other cases, the pollution has seeped beyond their original underground storage areas.

With new technology making it affordable to drill for water that was once thought too deep to use, states are being forced to choose between income today (for mining energy resources) and drinking water tomorrow.

Recent stories by Abram Lustgarten:

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Here & Now resident chef and cookbook author Kathy Gunst shares her list of the best cookbooks of the year.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

December 19 Comment

Why El Salvador’s Youth Are Fleeing

David Boeri's report begins in the San Salvador medical examiner's receiving room, where the youth of El Salvador are on display.

December 19 Comment

Artist Andres Serrano On Photographing Cuba

The controversial artist discusses his 2012 trip to his mother's home country and shares his photos.

December 18 Comment

College Counselor: ‘A Deferral Is Not A Denial’

Lisa Micele shares tips for applying to college — especially for students who have been deferred under early decision.

December 18 17 Comments

America’s Political Dynasties

Americans under 38 have only experienced one presidential election that did not involve a Bush or a Clinton.