WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Jim Jeffords, I – Vt., Frank Lautenberg, D – NJ, Barbara Boxer, D – Ca., and Joe Lieberman, D – Conn., today introduced legislation to eliminate the use of diesel fuel and other toxic products used in underground water drilling for oil and gas, known as hydraulic fracturing. The legislation would regulate hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect public water supplies. “The process of hydraulic fracturing threatens our drinking water supplies and our communities,” said Jeffords, the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “It is unconscionable to allow the oil and gas industry to pump toxic fluids into the ground. Our legislation clarifies once and for all that hydraulic fracturing is part of the Underground Injection Control Program regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act.” "This law is badly needed to protect the purity of ground water and to protect land owners across the nation," said Lautenberg." "There can be no question about whether toxics and diesel should be pumped into the ground in our search for natural gas. This dangerous practice must stop." "Protecting our drinking water is a top priority. This bill takes us in the right direction, strengthening drinking water protections by ensuring that toxins are not injected into ground water,” said Boxer. "Through hydraulic fracturing with toxic fluids, we risk poisoning our drinking water," Lieberman said. "Our legislation is the first step in stopping this potential threat to our public health." The Hydraulic Fracturing Safety Act of 2005 amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to ban the use of diesel or other priority pollutants listed under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act in hydraulic fracturing for oil or natural gas exploration and production. The legislation requires the Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hydraulic fracturing activities in states to ensure that companies are adhering to the Safe Drinking Water Act and conducting business in a manner safe for all Americans. In a recent report, the EPA acknowledged that these fluids, many of them toxic and harmful to people, are pumped directly into or near underground sources of drinking water. This same report cited earlier studies that indicated that only 61% of these fluids are recovered after the process is complete, leaving 39% of the toxic fluids in the ground, risking contamination of drinking water. "The National Wildlife Federation praises these Senators for acting to stop polluters who are literally injecting toxic chemicals into the ground, tainting the water supply and threatening people and wildlife," added Sean McMahon, the NWF's Director of National Land Stewardship Campaigns. "Our nation's landmark clean water laws should not be weakened for the benefit of drillers at the expense of everyone else."