We/I hereby join the ranks of Ohio citizenry opposed to the injection of toxic oil and gas waste and to the permitting of additional Class II injection wells due to known and unknown risks and to the harm this industrial dumping inflicts on Ohio communities.
Class II injection wells in Ohio receive liquid oil and gas industry waste from Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and other states. They are not designed to receive hazardous waste and create serious risks to human health and the environment. Class II wells provide no known benefit to communities and do not foster job growth. They should be banned.
Class II Injection wells accept waste from deep-shale drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking). This waste contains potentially large quantities of undisclosed highly toxic chemicals such as benzene, xylene, naphthalene, formaldehyde, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and radioactive radium, barium, and strontium. A U.S. Geological Survey report (12/11) found that liquid fracking waste from Pennsylvaniahad levels of radioactivity over 3,600 times drinking water standards and more than 300 times higher than Nuclear Regulatory Commission limits for industrial discharges to water. This radioactive material comes from deep underground and is more than three times higher than waste from conventional oil and gas wells. (Columbus Dispatch 9-3-12)
Oil and gas industry waste is legally exempt from federal hazardous waste regulations and from important portions of the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act. These toxic fluids are legally designated “non-hazardous” by virtue of these exemptions––if tested, they would be deemed hazardous and required to be disposed of in Class I, hazardous waste injection wells. In 2016, Ohio’s injection wells accepted 27,528,861 barrels of brine and liquid waste. 12,007,300 barrels came from out of state. This waste came from both in state and out of state sources. Neither levels of radioactivity, chemical concentrations, nor actual chemical contents of truckloads are regulated or even tracked by Ohio authorities. In Ohio there is no chemical disclosure to communities as would be required of other waste under the Emergency Planning Community Right to Know laws.
Because ODNR does not monitor for water contamination around Class II injection wells, and because even Class I wells in Ohio have leaked, we are extremely concerned about possible existing water contamination, about the huge volumes of liquids being pumped into our land, and about the rapidly increasing number of injection wells in our communities. Wells eventually leak. Period. State and federal records reveal that during the years 2007 to 2010 one out of every six injection wells inspected failed mechanical integrity testing. ODNR has a long history of ignoring repeated, flagrant violations. It does not enforce even its weak rules, ignores citizens concerns, and denies evidence of
problems or risks.
Many existing Class II wells are old production wells not even built to the current inadequate state standards for injection. Our communities also face great risk from truck accidents and spills. Class II injection wells have also been linked to earthquakes in Ohio as well as in several other states, including one in Oklahoma that measured 5.7 on the Richter Scale.