Report: Lots of Fracking Waste Coming in from Other States


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The environmental news to kick off this week centers around Ohio's stratospheric increase in fracking waste. Most of that brine is coming in by way of the drilling booms in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

In the words of the Buckeye Forest Council's fracking coordinator, "I think we’ve been the sacrifice zone for the oil and gas industry long enough."

Tanker trucks are rolling across the border into Ohio with hundreds of barrels of brine (the waste derived from drilling for natural gas). In 2012, there were 8.16 million barrels of that junk driven into Ohio. Via an injection well, the waste is shot down about 8,900 feet into the Earth. There, environmental advocates say, it poses real hazards to groundwater and streams, as well as galvanizes conditions for earthquakes.

None of the above is necessarily *new* information, but with the sheer quantity now on paper, fears are being stoked now more than ever. Hell, injection wells have had a home in Ohio for years. But a recent rise in the number of Northeast Ohio earthquakes - throughout 2011 and 2012 - was tied to the influx of fracking waste.

As of now, there are 191 injection wells in Ohio (up from 177 in early 2012). Federal regulations ensure that Ohio can't really stop out-of-state waste from crossing the border.


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