Reject Oil and Gas Wastewater as a Restroom De-icer

To the Editor,

The Ohio House of Representatives Energy and Natural Resources Committee has passed HB 393 out of committee that will commoditize oil and gas wastewater from conventional vertical wells, removing regulation and tracking requirements and encouraging a proliferation of surface discharges on Ohio highways as a de-icer and dust suppressant. Along with this named use, the bill also allows the use of oil and gas wastewater as a de-icer in portable restrooms, news that should concern every pumper, treatment plant operator and portable restroom operator.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has conducted radiation testing on these products being marketed and found they exceed effluent limits for RA-226 (radium) and RA-228, and exceed safe drinking water limits by a factor of 300.

The Ohio Department of Health has made great progress over the last 10 years controlling surface discharges from household sewage treatment systems and is now facing a great leap backward if this bill goes forward. Few wastewater treatment plants have radiation monitoring and no municipal treatment plant is designed to treat radioactive wastewater, yet this plan may allow a direct path for discharge of radioactivity to the waters of Ohio.

The oil and gas industry raced development of new production technologies but did very little planning about how to handle the billions of gallons of wastewater that is and will be produced, and has resorted to questionable methods of disposal that threaten the safety of our freshwater resources and the public health.

Ohio has been welcoming to these types of wastewaters. As volumes continue to increase, disposal becomes more complicated and oil and gas producing states and their neighboring states will eventually face this same issue.

It is time for the wastewater services industry to stand up and protect the environmental progress we have made and oppose the indiscriminate spreading of radioactive wastewater of unknown constituents and refuse to accept these wastewaters in all pollution control facilities.

Tim Kettler
Action Septic Service Inc.
Warsaw, Ohio


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