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Ohio Utica Shale

Radiation issue has activists concerned about Ohio budget bill

By Bob Downing Published: March 11, 2013

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's state budget bill includes new rules on drilling for natural gas-oil.

Hearings begin in the Ohio Legislature this week, and activists are circulating a fact sheet put together by Stark County activist Chris Borello and others.

Here is the fact sheet:

Why Sections of HB 59 Must Be Removed Re. Radiation/Fracking Wastes Disposal in Ohio Landfills That Could Allow EPA Radiation Limits To Be Exceeded =Potentially Turning Sites Into Low Level Radioactive Waste Dumps:




Ohio regulatory agencies charged with making decisions pertaining to protection of Ohioan's health, safety and the environment appear to have abdicated their authorized responsibilities by the relegation of critical decisions toone individual - the Director(or his designee).  There are clearly inherent problems with simply one person being granted total power to make decisions.  These include the potential failure to adequately consult with others with relevant expertise and the perception that external political pressures might easily influence a political appointee.


Case in point:  "The Ohio EPA Drilling Advisory" (9/18/12).  This document appears to have laid the groundwork for certain language found in HB 59 currently being proposed. While the agency continues to claim, quite disingenuously, that brine MUST be disposed, according to Ohio Law, only in injection wells, the OEPA Advisory appears to now relegate authority to the Director, that could in turn allow serious deviations, by giving the Director authority to grant permission for such drilling liquids containing radiation to be "solidified" and thus disposed of at Ohio landfills, despite lack of scientific peer re viewable evidence proving that this practice would be safe and address the intent of Ohio Laws in protecting Ohio groundwater and surface waters.


Citizens have learned that thissame kind of abdication by these agencies to just one person at the top, is now being proposed in HB 59, that could result in permission being granted to allow drillers to send wastes containing elevated radiation - exceeding the EPA 5 pico curie limit to Ohio landfills, instead of requiring proper disposal at licensed Low Level Radioactive Waste facilities out West or in Michigan!   It is believed that if approved, this will dramatically facilitate in making Ohio weaker and even more a target for massive amounts of toxic and radioactive drilling wastes being disposed into our state from around the nation.  We expect agencies to argue that this proposal only provides the potential for such approval by said agency Directors, but why even go there, by creating these mechanisms for this to occur in the first place, if they are sincere about "strengthening" protections regarding radiation exposures to Ohioans?






*  HB 59 contains language, if not removed, that could allow Ohio landfills to receive drilling wastes with radiation in excess of EPA limits by way of DILUTION WITH DIRT, instead of requiring this waste be sent to a proper Low Level Rad Waste facility


*  Previous reports done related to past efforts to use Ohio for siting a Low Level Rad Waste facility (Midwest Compact) had revealed that most of Ohio's geology is UNSUITABLE for such waste disposal   Note: That proposal involved storage of radiation above ground in concrete containment etc., vs. this proposal involving landfill burial.


*    The National Academy of Sciences Bier VII report indicated that any radiation exposures above zero can lead to an increase risk of developing cancer.  Radium in fracking wastes is particularly dangerous because it is bone seeking, and can give rise to blood diseases such as Leukemia.  Radium has a 1600-yearhalf-life and will mostly likely outlive the liners in typical landfills.


*  These same Ohio agencies do not have a good track record in dealing with radiation historically and therefore lack credibility and public trust.  Outrageously, they still even refused to address the known elevated radioactivity in the Marcellus Shales, only discussing limited testing performed on Ohio Utica Shales, despite the volumes coming into Ohio from Marcellus drill sites.



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