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

Report | Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center

The Costs of Fracking

Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies – hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – to unlock new supplies of fossil fuels in underground rock formations across the United States. “Fracking” has spread rapidly, leaving a trail of contaminated water, polluted air, and marred landscapes in its wake. In fact, a growing body of data indicates that fracking is an environmental and public health disaster in the making.

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Lake Erie protected from gas drilling

Columbus – Environment Ohio praised Governor Kasich’s decision to issue an executive order barring oil and gas drilling in Lake Erie.   The group won a similar order from Governor Taft nearly a decade ago, but the issue takes on new resonance as the threat of fracking looms over the rest of the state.

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