Ohio Officials Growing Wary Of Fracking Waste
Ohio Governor John Kasich is a big supporter of natural gas drilling, but that doesn’t mean he wants Pennsylvania’s fracking waste. As this Bloomberg News article reports, the Buckeye State took in 369 million gallons of used fracking fluid last year.
Much of that liquid came from Pennsylvania. Kasich and other Ohio officials are looking for ways to lower the state’s fracking fluid intake, without running afoul of the constitution, which bars states from limiting specific industries within their borders. “When people are using our things, and they could disrupt our ability to have progress here, we have to be concerned about it,” Kasich told Bloomberg. “We’re thinking about what we can do and not violate the interstate commerce clause.”
The underground wells the fluid is being injected into, of course, has been linked to recent Ohio earthquakes.
From the Bloomberg report:
Of the almost 22 million gallons of wastewater that Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale operators sent to disposal wells in the first six months of 2011, nearly 99 percent went to Ohio, according to production reports from the Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Department.
Pennsylvania has six active Class II wells compared with 177 in Ohio in part because the geological formations in the state’s east aren’t permeable, and because until recent years, the state allowed drillers to discharge brine into streams or take it to treatment plants, Steve Platt, an EPA hydrologist in Philadelphia, said in a telephone interview.
Fluid recycled or sent to disposal wells increased after the state started limiting wastewater sent to treatment plants in 2010, Kevin Sunday, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania department, said in a telephone interview from Harrisburg.