Injection Wells

Injecting Toxic Waste into Fresh Water.

The Great Lakes Basin, home to 20% of the world’s fresh water, should not be a toxic waste dump.

Injection wells are toxic dump sites. They reach 5000 feet down through our groundwater aquifers and empty underground. They are not contained. In Michigan, there are over 1800 injection wells. Another 7000 Enhanced Oil Recovery (E.O.R.) injection wells pump fresh water to stimulate oil and gas production.


The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality hasn't denied a permit for oil or gas injection wells in over 12 years. Injection wells dispose wastewater from oil and gas drilling. The water contains high levels of salt, BTEX chemicals, and sometimes radioactive material.

Only minimal staff from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality monitors the wells. The oil and gas companies monitor themselves. The United States Geological Survey has determined that injection wells do cause earthquakes.

MCWC's Position

MCWC works with citizen groups in Mecosta, Barry, Oakland, Clare, and Gladwin Counties. We help people understand the liabilities of injection wells and encourage community action. Testify at hearings. Question industry and government about the safety of injection well permitting and inspection.

MCWC believes the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality should monitor injection wells more closely. Older oil and gas wells within in a mile radius of permitted injection wells should also be inspected. More safety recommendations are necessary to protect our groundwater.

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