Elizabeth Hand

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Elizabeth Hand is a novelist and educator in the fields of writing and science. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Her short fiction and book reviews have appeared in various prominent Canadian publications. She comes to Desmog from a coordinator position at the Portland Hotel Society where she worked in social housing, outreach and harm reduction. As a former social services worker, she is professionally invested in Aboriginal rights and civil liberties issues in Canada. As a Canadian and an American, she aspires to strengthen the dialogue between the two countries concerning environmental issues, and to address such topics with an international perspective.

Contaminated Water, Land Damage, and Earthquakes: The Legacy of Waste Injection Wells

contaminated water from wastewater injection well

Early scientific analysis predicted that the risks associated with hazardous waste injection wells would be negligible. Unfortunately, experience has indicated that disposing of hazardous waste deep underground has been linked to water contamination, destroyed ecosystems, toxic leaks and earthquakes.

Now we are learning that there is a difference between scientific analysis and scientific evidence.

In a recent extensive report by ProPublica, John Apps, leading geoscientist, who advises the Department of Energy for Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, said that the science used to go forward with disposal wells was not sound.

“Every statement is based on a collection of experts that offer you their opinions. Then you do a scientific analysis of their opinions and get some probability out of it. This is a wonderful way to go when you don't have any evidence one way or another… But it really doesn't mean anything scientifically.”