“There’s questions about whether the treatment currently being used is adequate," says Stringfellow. "That needs to be determined and in general put in other kinds of safeguards that are standard for reuse of water of this type."
Democratic Assemblyman Das Williams interrupted. "Your point is that only a small amount of our food may have been poisoned so we better put a regulatory structure in place before a large amount is?” asked Williams.
California oil and gas regulators say they’re moving forward with some of the recommendations made in the study to improve oversight of the oil industry. Steve Bohlen with the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources defended the department’s aggressiveness.
“I think there is a new focus in the division on regulatory compliance and that’s been looked at very carefully," says Bohlen. "As you know, I have removed several staff from leadership positions. It’s a very big job. We’ve had some very bad habits.”
Some legislators and environmentalists are still calling for either a moratorium or ban on fracking. Fracking opponents delivered more than 100,000 petitions for a ban to Governor Jerry Brown.