Here, via ILTF/@indianland
The responses to NPR’s two Freedom of Information Act requests include emails between staffers, correspondence with the companies, results of water-quality tests, the permits, and documents justifying each permit. Most of this information had not been public before.
The documents show hints of mutiny inside the EPA. Some EPA staffers clearly are appalled by the wastewater releases.
One wrote in an email to colleagues: “Can we get together and discuss a strategic approach for sending our message of concern? I have attached pictures of this ridiculousness.”
Another staffer warns that the chemicals in the water could have “irrevocable human health and environmental impacts.”
The documents also show recent detective work that some EPA staffers did to try to figure out what chemicals companies are putting in the water. Their research reveals that some of the waste streams sometimes include chemicals from hydraulic fracturing, an engineering technique designed to increase the flow of wells. They also include chemicals whose warning labels clearly state “toxic to aquatic organisms,” “prevent material from entering sewers or waterways,” and warnings about cancer and birth defects at low levels.
The documents suggest that at least some people inside the EPA are advocating for stricter rules. But much of this debate has been kept secret. The EPA refused to give NPR 757 documents about the loophole, claiming they can be kept secret because they are between the EPA and its attorneys or among EPA staffers.