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FROM THIS EPISODE

After 30 years of uncertainty, state officials have ordered a stop to the injection of waste from oil drilling into wells that might be used for drinking or irrigation. No contamination has been found, but there's fear in oil-rich Kern County, where drought already threatens the water supply. Environmentalists accuse the Brown Administration of favoring the oil industry.

Also, LA County cracks down on cheating and nepotism in Fire Department hiring.

Photo: Oil well at the Lost Hills Field, about a mile west of the California Aqueduct (Antandrus)

Producers:
Sasa Woodruff
Katie Cooper

Is California Separating Oil and Water? 19 MIN, 45 SEC

"Californians expect their water is not being polluted by oil producers...this poses a very real danger." That's according to the federal EPA, which has found that the state has allowed contaminated waste from oil drilling to be injected into underground water supplies that could be used for drinking or irrigation. The issue is more urgent than ever because three years of drought have reduced the water supply in Kern County, where most oil drilling occurs and where the injection wells are located. David Baker has reported the story extensively for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Guests:
David Baker, San Francisco Chronicle (@davidbakersf)
Steve Bohlen, California Department of Conservation (@CalConservation)
Kassie Siegel, Center for Biological Diversity (@CenterForBioDiv)
Tupper Hull, Western States Petroleum Association (@OfficialWSPA)

More:
Oil and gas; well stimulation (SB 4)
California Council on Science and Technology assessment of well stimulation treatments, including fracking in California
Center for Biological Diversity on oil industry wastewater illegally injected into central California aquifers
Western States Petroleum Association's reponse to LA Times allegations of the sumps (ponds) in oil production regions in the San Joaquin Valley
LA Times on illicit oil wastewater pits in Kern County
Department of Conservation and State Water Resources Control Board response to EPA on underground injection control

LA County Fire Department Attempts to Fix Hiring Scandal 5 MIN, 44 SEC

LA County Supervisors have adopted standardized, digital testing for hiring across all its departments. The idea is to provide security and make it harder to cheat. Last month, the LA Times reported evidence of nepotism in the County Fire Department, including the sharing of test materials by employees, including a battalion chief and 10 captains. Paul Pringle co-wrote the story.

Guests:
Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times (@paul_pringle)

More:
LA County Auditor-Controller on fire fighter trainee examination improprieties

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