Ohio: A Fracking Waste Dumping Ground?

Toxic fracking waste from out of state

Fracking waste generated in the region has increased 540 percent since 2004.

  • Fracking produces enormous amounts of waste contaminated with toxic chemicals, heavy metals, corrosive salts and radioactive material.
  • In 2011, Ohio dumped 12.8 million barrels of toxic, radioactive waste into injection wells—injecting toxic waste into the ground as a means of disposing it.
  • Over half of Ohio’s waste is imported from Pennsylvania and West Virginia, making our state the region’s dumping ground.
  • Hazardous fracking waste can be put into municipal water treatment plants, dumped into landfills, left in open pits, and even spread on roads as de-icer.

A wave of waste from Pennsylvania

From September 2012 to January 2013, Hardrock Excavating LLC dumped at least 252,000 barrels of toxic fracking waste directly into a tributary of Youngstown’s Mahoning River.The incident highlighted the growing threats to our environment as Ohio fracking operations create more and more fracking waste—and as the state imports millions of barrels more from Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

After Pennsylvania moved to strengthen its fracking waste rules in 2010, drillers found it cheaper and easier to dispose of their hazardous waste in Ohio. Industry lobbyists got fracking waste exempt from federal hazardous waste laws, leaving Ohio even more vulnerable. Across the region, fracking waste has increased a staggering 540 percent since 2004, with more being produced each year.

No more fracking waste

There is no good way to dispose of fracking waste. And Ohio should not be the region's dumping ground for this toxic waste. Through our reports and education campaigns, Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center is working to expose the harmful effects of fracking waste in our state.

Issue updates

News Release | Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center

Environment Ohio’s Report Shows Ohio’s Weak Bonding Rules Leave Communities Exposed to Drilling Damage

Raising new concerns on a little-examined dimension of the fracking debate, Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center today released a report analyzing Ohio’s financial assurance requirements for oil and gas drilling operations.  Who Pays the Costs of Fracking? shows how Ohio’s bonding requirements are completely inadequate to cover the cost and range of damage from dirty drilling.

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Report | Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center

Who Pays the Cost of Fracking

"Fracking” operations pose a staggering array of threats to our environment and health – contaminating drinking water, harming the health of nearby residents, marring forests and landscapes, and contributing to global warming. Many of these damages from drilling have significant “dollars and cents” costs.

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News Release | Environment Ohio

Youngstown Fracking Waste Spill Evidence of Broader State Negligence

COLUMBUS – A week after the dumping of at least 20,000 gallons of toxic and potentially radioactive fracking waste into the Mahoning River by Hard Rock Excavating, state regulators have yet to disclose information about the quantity of waste and the chemicals involved. Environmental advocates are urging the state to act quickly to prosecute the perpetrator and look beyond the one incident to take more aggressive steps to protect the state’s public health and environment from future threats.

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News Release | Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center

Study warns of fracking waste influx

COLUMBUS – A new report by researchers at Kent State and Duke Universities shows that fracking waste generated in the region has increase 570 percent since 2004, and warns of an explosion of waste in years to come. In 2011, the most recent year for which complete records are available, 12.8 million barrels of wastewater were dumped into Ohio’s underground wells. Over half of that came from fracking in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, where drilling in the Marcellus Shale has been more extensive.

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News Release | Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center

The Cost of Fracking: Environment Ohio Documents the Dollars Drained by Dirty Drilling

Firing a new salvo in the ongoing debate over the gas drilling practice known as fracking, Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center today released a report documenting a wide range of dollars and cents costs imposed by dirty drilling.  As documented in The Cost of Fracking, fracking creates millions of dollars of health costs related to everything from air pollution to ruined roads to contaminated property.

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