☰ Menu
Ohio Utica Shale

Columbus company will not be processing shale drill cuttings

By Bob Downing Published: March 4, 2014

A recent release from


Ohio Soil Recycling, LLC (OSR), a Columbus, Ohio based business that uses microbes, algae, and bacteria to remediate contaminated soil, will NOT be receiving shale gas solid waste as previously reported.
Drill cuttings will instead be sent to Ohio landfills.
As reported in The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Soil Recycling was authorized by the Ohio EPA to receive solid waste drill cuttings at the Alum Creek Integrity Drive facility. This was to be an alternate method of disposing of shale gas development waste (fracking). Shale gas drill cuttings would be processed, to rid them of drilling lubricants and used to cap the old Franklin County landfill along Alum Creek.


Radioactive Waste Alert, a Columbus area citizen action group, has concerns about the health risks associated with the processing and re-use of this soil. The OSR facility is located along the banks of Alum Creek, one of the Columbus area water supplies. Shale rock contains radioactive metals, including Radium 228, and 226. Carolyn Harding, organizer of warns, "These radioactive elements are water soluble and could contaminate our water supply".
In a phone message with Harding, on February 14th, Chris Elliott, owner of OSR, stated that OSR had not received drill cuttings, other than the two trial loads that they used for testing, and would not be receiving drill cuttings in the near future. He stated that for now, "We are probably done with the shale stuff altogether".
Harding says that although this alleviates the immediate risk to the Alum creek, and communities downstream, "There is still much to be concerned about," when it comes to the disposal of shale gas drilling-related waste in the Columbus Area Watershed and throughout Ohio.
Drill cuttings, the rock and soil carried to the surface during the drilling process, are labeled as TENORM (technically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material), in all states other than Ohio. The 2013 Ohio Budget Bill redefined these drill cuttings from TENORM to NORM (naturally occurring radioactive material), therefore permitting drill cuttings to be dumped in any of Ohio’s 39 licensed municipal solid waste landfills.
"Drill cuttings are currently being dumped cheaply and quickly next to our towns", Harding stated. "These landfills are not safe for low level radioactive waste."
Some fear Ohio has become the dumping ground for the gas and oil industry. Ohio currently injects liquid shale gas drilling (hydraulic fracturing) waste into its 139 active injection wells throughout the state. The Center for Health and Environmental Justice reported that Ohio injection wells accepted 581 million gallons of waste in 2012, much of this coming from Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
“Regulation is running way behind the development of this industry" Harding says. "We don't want Ohio to become a toxic radioactive waste dump for the Shale Gas Industry. We all saw what happened to Charleston, WV. We must protect our Water."



See the most recent drilling report and an injection wells map From
Prev Next

Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.