Selling your water for fracking? Joining an LEPC? Some things to consider.

Selling Your Water for Hydraulic Fracking? Consider this…

√    Do you know the source of your water? If not, find out.

√    How healthy is the source? (For example, the Ogallala Aquifer is down by 70 percent from current water use patterns.)

√    Does the state, local government, or Tribe have a water inventory and use plan? Is it sustainable (replacing water that is used) or does it reflect water shortages and overuse patterns?

√    Consider your options. Is there a Water Trust organization in your state like in Colorado or Washington? Might it buy or lease your water rights for long-term stewardship?

√    Consider your heirs and discuss your options with them.


Joining a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)? Consider this…

√    Find out who is on it & how to get involved. Ask questions, find answers.

√    What is the most current local Area Contingency Plan for oil and chemical spills? Anything older than 3 years is not current and needs to be revised. Find out how you can provide input or be part of any c-plan revisions.

√    Does the LEPC have a current file of all of the required spill response plans for oil facilities, pipelines, rail cars and trucks, and tankers? If not, why not? What’s missing?

Are these individual response plans redacted or fully public?

Are the maximum discharge scenarios realistic?

√    Does the LEPC have a current file of product specifications (available to the shippers to ensure that what they put into the tanker or pipeline or rail car is what is delivered)? Of current Material Safety Data Sheets? If not, why not? How can emergency responders be prepared if they don’t know what they are responding to?

√    Does the LEPC have a file of current maps of:

•    infrastructure such as pipeline routes, railroad corridors, pumping stations, overflow stations, etc.?

•    High Consequence Areas (including highly populated areas, sensitive habitat, and drinking water sources or facilities) What definition was used to determine the HCA in your area–the old definition or the new, weaker definition? If the latter, what measures should be taken to safeguard areas that should be considered as HCA but aren’t?

•    Vulnerable facilities (hospitals, schools, nursing homes, day care centers, etc.) and vulnerable populations (English as Second Language, poor, people of color, disabled, etc.)

•    Evacuation routes?

√    Does the LEPC have PPE (personal protective equipment) for responders, including respirators for anticipated oil and chemical spills?

√    Does the LEPC have a response team with HAZWOPER training? Does this training include training on acute symptoms of chemical illnesses and safety measures to minimize risks? Is this training provided by licensed Occupational & Environmental Medicine professionals (independent from industry training)?

√    Share what you are learning so we can share with others! Contact: Riki Ott,