Action Alert: Stop Unsafe Spread of Drilling Wastewater
House Bill 393, which could pass the Ohio House on May 23, would encourage the use of drilling wastewater to de-ice roads without sufficient safety protections. Its companion legislation, Senate Bill 165, is also progressing through committee; both bills promote spreading wastewater from oil and gas drilling, which can be radioactive and contain other harmful chemicals, onto roadways across Ohio. Call your legislators today and let them know you have concerns about these bills.
LWVO has two main concerns about House Bill 393 and Senate Bill 165:
Not specific. As it stands, neither bill lays out which chemicals are and are not permitted in solutions used for this purpose. Meaningful controls on this practice should include more specific criteria.
Improper oversight. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has the appropriate, legitimate jurisdiction and expertise to consider this issue, but these bills assign responsibility to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. That should be changed to make clear this legislation takes public safety seriously.
The exact makeup of drilling solution has been kept secret and can vary, but the process can produce radioactivity, carcinogens, and volatile organic compounds. These bills would introduce controls at the state level on the use of reprocessed brine for ice and dust control on roads, replacing the local restrictions that have taken precedence previously. State-level regulations must be clearly designed to protect public health and safety.
In their current form, HB 393 and SB 165 will encourage the use of drilling wastewater without appropriate health safeguards, leaving possible a risk of groundwater contamination.
Contact your legislators today to tell them not to vote for these bills until they are substantially improved to address these concerns.
LWVO Advocacy Team
League of Women Voters of Ohio | 614-469-1505 | www.lwvohio.org