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Ohio House OKs use of oil and gas brine for road de-icing

Ohio House OKs use of oil and gas brine for road de-icing
COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Ohio House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation allowing brine from vertical oil and gas drilling to be used for road de-icing, despite concerns that the salty liquid contains dangerous and radioactive chemicals.

House Bill 393, which heads to the Senate after passing the House 52-31, is touted by supporters as a way to promote the use of a product that is a safer and less corrosive alternative to rock salt to keep roads ice-free.

However, in 2014, state lawmakers imposed restrictions on the sale of fracking byproducts that inadvertently applied to vertical wells too. DeVitis said this bill, which would not apply to brine used in horizontal “fracking” drilling operations, would rectify that move.

“It encourages recycling. It encourages protecting our environment. It encourages small businesses to invest, do research and establish business in Ohio,” said DeVitis, a Republican from Green.

No one spoke on the House floor on Thursday against the legislation.

However, the bill has been opposed by a number of environmental groups, which point to a state report showing the salty liquid has radium levels up to 500 times higher than federal drinking-water limits.

According to the 2017 memo from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, state officials found high radium levels in samples taken from a suburban Akron company, as well as from de-icers purchased at nearby stores.

O’Brien, along with most House Democrats and handful of Republicans, voted against the bill.

The Ohio House on Thursday passed legislation allowing brine used in vertical oil and gas drilling to be spread on roads as a de-icer. The measure now heads to the state Senate.

 

Source:  Cleveland.com

By:  Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland.com

LINK:  https://www.cleveland.com/politics/2018/12/ohio-house-oks-use-of-oil-and-gas-brine-for-road-de-icing.ht

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