Ohio groups and concerned citizens are calling for Ohio Governor John Kasich to use his executive power to stop the use of radioactive product on Ohio roads and in our communities.
Columbus, Ohio, July 2, 2018 – Groups and citizens sent Ohio Governor John Kasich a letter on June 28, 2018 calling for him to use his executive power to stop the use of a radioactive product on Ohio roads and in Ohio communities as a deicer and dust suppressant.
The groups’ long-standing concerns and objections about Ohio’s permitting the use of oil and gas waste “brine” on roads as a deicer and dust suppressant were magnified by a public records release of an Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) study that shows alarming levels of radium 226 and 228 in the samples of Aqua Salina, a product available to consumers, which was under study. 1
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources tested several samples of Aqua Salina. Samples were taken by ODNR staff who purchased some of the product right off the shelf at a hardware store in Hartville, Ohio. The ODNR staff also purchased the product at a Lowe’s Home Center in Akron, OH. The U.S. EPA Drinking Water standard for combined Radium-226 and Radium-228 is 5 pCi/L. The sample taken from a container of AquaSalina purchased from a hardware store in Hartville, OH tested over 500 times the drinking water
“There is nothing beneficial about spreading radioactive oil and gas-related waste on our roadways, public and private driveways and sidewalks where children and pets will be exposed to it and where it will be used in public portable restrooms. It is important that we take a stand now to protect our communities and future generations,” said Katie Jones, organizer, Sustainable Medina County.
“Cancer rates in Ohio and elsewhere are soaring to new highs. We do not believe that we should be exposing our children and our families to levels of radiation that have been proven to be above health levels. This unnecessary exposure must stop,” said Teresa Mills, Executive Director of Buckeye Environmental Network.
The groups are also very concerned that Ohio legislators have unwisely introduced bills, HB 393 and SB 165, that address the use of so-called “brine.” If the legislature passes the bills, the groups believe that would jeopardize public health, safety, and welfare even further.
Lea Harper, Managing Director of the FreshWater Accountability Project,
“It is incomprehensible that the Ohio legislature would even consider legislation to allow radioactive oil and gas waste to be spread on our roads, disguised as “dust suppressant” and “de-icer,” but to allow it to be sold to an unsuspecting public as well should be a criminal act. HB 393 and SB 165 should never have been introduced. This demonstrates once again that many in our government serve the interest of the oil and gas industry in an effort to solve its biggest problem – disposal of the massive amounts of toxic, radioactive waste – even to the extent it would use an unwary public to do so, thereby avoiding costly disposal and making the waste a profitable commodity instead.”
The groups suggest that Governor Kasich and Ohio bill sponsors take note of recent events in Pennsylvania regarding the use of oil and gas waste on roads. Scientific evidence increasingly shows that spreading of conventional oil and gas waste on roads for deicing and dust suppression is not a good thing. In fact, according to an article by State Impact Pennsylvania (6/1/18), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is apparently ending the permitting of the treatment of roads with so-called “brine.” The agency had been sued by a resident, according to the report.3
1 Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management Radiation Safety Section, Interoffice Memorandum , July 26, 2017, ” To: Richard J. Simmers, Chief, Through: Scoll Kell, Assistant Chief, FROM: Chuck McCracken, Manager, Radiation Safety Section, DATE: July 26, 2017, RE: ASSESSMENT OF RA226 & RA 228 RADIOACTIVITY IN AQUASALINA,” https://files.acrobat.com/a/
2 Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management Radiation Safety Section, Interoffice Memorandum , July 26, 2017, ” To: Richard J. Simmers, Chief, Through: Scoll Kell, Assistant Chief, FROM: Chuck McCracken, Manager, Radiation Safety Section, DATE: July 26, 2017, RE: ASSESSMENT OF RA226 & RA228 RADIOACTIVITY IN AQUASALINA,” https://files.acrobat.com/a/
3 “The Department of Environmental Protection, which for years allowed municipalities to treat their roads with brine, said last week it was ending the practice after it was sued by a Warren County resident.” [Excerpt from NPR, “Study Finds Health Threats Posed by Oil and Gas Wastewater Sprayed on Roads,” by Reid Frazier, June 1, 2018, State Impact Pennsylvania at: https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2018/05/31/study-finds-health-threats-from-oil-and-gas-wastewater-spread-on-roads/