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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u May 2, 2013 2:49 PM Flag

    Dems call for ban on fracking waste

    May 2, 2013
    Written by
    Russ Zimmer

    Ohio House Democrats introduced a bill Wednesday that would make it illegal to dispose of oilfield waste in deep underground injection wells. The possibilities of such a ban becoming law seem slim given other ill-fated attempts at legislation that ultimately would raise costs on the oil and gas industry.

    The proposal would make it illegal to dispose of brine into one of Ohio’s 179 active Class II injection wells, which shoot the liquid into a deep geologic formation sometimes more than 10,000 feet below the surface.

    The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ definition of brine includes the salty, naturally occurring water as well as the chemical- and sand-laced water used in the hydraulic fracturing process. Under current state law, that mixture must be either reused at another well site or disposed of underground.

    Most of the fracking waste that is injected in Ohio comes from out of state. One of the bill’s co-sponsors, Rep. Denise Driehaus, D-Cincinnati, said she’s confident Ohioans don’t want to be Pennsylvania’s dumping ground.

    She unsuccessfully fought for a temporary moratorium on horizontal hydraulic fracturing in 2011 and couldn’t get any traction in the Republican-controlled legislature for another proposal on fracking rules.

    More recently, Gov. John Kasich watched as members of his own party stripped an incremental raise in the severance tax — the proceeds from which the governor was going to use for income tax cuts — from the state budget. Driehaus said she at least wants to talk about these concerns.

    “The House rules state they are obligated to give us a hearing on this bill,” she said. “Whether or not it will move beyond that I don’t know.”

    In addition to not shooting it underground, the use of oilfield brine on roads also would be prohibited should the bill pass.

    More than 200 local governments in


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