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Ohio Fracking Wastewater Test Reveals Toxic Mess

Ohio Fracking Wastewater Test Reveals Toxic Mess

The natural gas industry, and it’s supporting case of puppet politicians, continue to claim that fracking has no negative impact on the environment or local drinking water supplies. There are many incidents of flammable water and poisoned streams that refute these claims, of course, but neither the industry or the government agencies that should be regulating them seem to care.

In big fracking states, many members of the public are alarmed that natural gas companies are blasting thousands of gallons of chemically-enhanced water into the ground just to get at natural gas deposits. Not only does the injection of these chemicals pose serious health risk, but then there’s the frightening question of what happens to the wastewater when frackers are done with it.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the five most common disposal options for fracking wastewater currently in use are: recycling for additional fracking, treatment and discharge to surface waters, underground injection, storage in open air pits, and spreading on roads for ice or dust control. “All of these options present significant risks of harm to public health or the environment. And there are not sufficient rules in place to ensure any of them will not harm people or ecosystems,” explains the NRDC in a recent report.

West Virginia and Pennsylvania are big fracking states, but they happily ship most of their wastewater for disposal in Ohio injection wells. Only recently did West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection take samples of the brine to find out exactly what they were burying in Ohioans’ back yards. The results were shocking (or not):

The lab results indicate high levels of alpha particles, arsenic, barium and toluene, among other contaminants, and are cause for the brine to be classified as “hazardous,” according to Ben Stout, professor of biology at Wheeling Jesuit University who interpreted the results. Stout labeled the results as “eerily similar” to brine samples taken by West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection. He describes heavy metals found in the sample as “grossly above standard,” citing skyrocketing arsenic and barium levels that exceed the primary standard for acceptable drinking water concentrations by 370 and 145 times, respectively.

The fact that environmental protection agencies at the state and federal level are allowing these substances to be dumped in areas where they can then seep into water supplies is outrageous. These agencies have a simple job: to protect the environment and human’s health above all else. Yet they would rather play the “wait and see” game instead of confronting these companies and holding them accountable for their actions.

Fracking should stop unless and until the gas companies can prove it has ZERO negative impact on local drinking water supplies. Sign the petition below to take action.

Related Reading:

New Film Tackles Fracking Politics

EPA Chief Tells Congress “There’s No Proof Fracking Is Dangerous”

Fracking May Have Caused 50 Earthquakes In Oklahoma

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Image via Progress Ohio/Flickr

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71 comments

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11:00AM PDT on Sep 10, 2013

I also wander what what is going on underground when the natural das and water are pumped out .Would there not be empty spaces left , leaving the ground with pockets of air ?? Would these pockets not then leave the earth's crust (and? ) mantle weakened .This is pretty fightening in the wake of increased earthquakes and unexplained sink holes .

6:55AM PST on Feb 10, 2013

The UK Government have also declared fracking to be 'safe' and plans are going ahead to use it. It's crazy and reckless and I will go on lobbying my MP to get it reconsidered and stopped.

3:00AM PST on Feb 2, 2013

"Fracking should stop unless and until the gas companies can prove it has ZERO negative impact on local drinking water supplies." and air, land and water, included!
Thank you for the article.

10:09PM PST on Jan 24, 2013

These puppets make me sick! They preach about ecology for future generations. For who? The bullying needs to stop! Fracking is dangerous, wasteful and our government must think we are stupid as hell to lie to our faces & think that's that. People are fighting back and it's going to get mean!

10:09PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

I look forward to the day (if there is one) when the word politician isn't synonymous with soulless criminal.

1:42AM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

Yes,"puppet politicians"is a very good description of the cretins who are allowing the environment and water tables to be poisoned and ruined,leaving nothing for future generations!Do these pathetic human beings have children and grandchildren,and if so,how can they sleep at night knowing that they are complicit in this crime against the present and the future?!JUST FOR SHORT TERM GREED??!!What has become of our society or was it always ruled by greed and corruption,only now on a much larger scale?!No one has the right to do irreversible damage to our one planet which belongs to everyone,not just giant corporate vested interests!It really tells me one thing;the USA is NOT a democracy but a corporatocracy where even the President just signs papers that are put in front of him.The real power is BEHIND the throne!Take heed Americans,the devil you know (Obama)is a million times better than the one you don't ie:Romney! Anyone with "zillions"in a Swiss bank account does not care about the poor,the needy and minority groups!

7:40PM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

scary

7:39PM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

scary

7:06AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

The truth is this planet will survive. We won't. December 12,2012 - the end of the Mayan calendar is rapidly approaching. Wonder what will happen.

11:55AM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

Where all the greedy lawyers who usually defend victims of medical malpractice, no fault and workers compensation claimants? Is there any chance to win a case with the gas extraction company?

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