On May 6 at 9:30 am the Guernsey County Commissioners will hold a public hearing to consider the Kimble Company’s proposal to spread “brine” on the roads of Guernsey County for “ice and dust control.” What most people do not know is not only that the Kimble Company of Dover engages in conventional drilling, but also in waste disposal for the unconventional shale drilling industry (fracking).
This is important, because another fact is that, according to Ohio Law, only “brine” from conventional drilling is allowed to be spread on the roads. There is good reason for this. Study after study has shown that “brine” (also called produced and flowback water) created by fracking is toxic and even radioactive. A recent study done by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection documented high levels of toxicity and radioactivity in “brine” created by the fracking industry. Because it is illegal to spread such “brine” on Ohio roads, how would anyone know the difference?
Any county that has fracking that allows the spreading of “brine” on its road risks a serious public health threat because of runoff if frack waste gets into streams running into reservoirs and leaches into aquifers needed for drinking water. How could anyone guarantee that “brine” being spread is only from conventional drilling sources? Residents report seeing “brine” trucks with their valves open, leaking as they go down the road. Already, we could be seeing illegal spreading of frack waste on our roads, bio-accumulating into our water supplies, threatening public health.
The question that needs to be asked is – why is there a sudden need for the spreading of “brine” from conventional drilling, that has steeply declined in production, and how could anyone guarantee that the toxic and radioactive “brine” from fracking would not be spread instead?