Proposal Would Allow Oil Companies Keep Injecting Wastewater Into Kern County Aquifers

California regulators are negotiating an agreement with two major oil companies that would allow them to keep injecting millions of gallons of wastewater into potential drinking water and irrigation supplies in the Central Valley for three years. The voluntary plan would allow Aera Energy (which was jointly formed by Shell Oil and Exxon Mobil) and California Resources Corp. to continue to inject fluid remnants of oil extraction into 94 wells that discharge into shallow groundwater aquifer zones in Kern County. The negotiations frustrate groups like Clean Water Action, a national environmental organization, which argues that injecting into the aquifers violates the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, and should cease now, not in three years.