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De-Icer Disaster: Radioactive Radium content Road De-icer, Aquasalina

On June 28th 2018, We demonstrated outside the SIMA trade show for Snow and Ice Removal Professionals, to oppose the application of ROAD DE-ICER found to have Federally-illegal levels of Radioactive Radium. The producer of this Enviro-hazard was tabling at the Huntington Bank "Center for Health Innovation" Convention Center!! The IRONY is thick considering Huntington raises MILLIONS for Wexner Medical Center Cancer Research via PELOTONIA each summer!

Environmental allies at CHEJ and OHIO Sierra Club put together this fact sheet on the bill to authorize gas-drilling fluid waste to be sold as a commodity. Sponsored by Sen Devitis, it's being pushed by the GOP-dominated statehouse w/ virtually no media scrutiny - Imagine that!

We join ECO groups mobilizing pressure on Gov Kasich to veto the bill!!

Join Buckeye Environmental Network with Donations:

PO Box 824 Athens OH 45701

Say “NO” to HB393/SB 165, Say “NO” to Toxic road deicer.

Ohio state lawmakers are pushing ahead with Ohio House Bill 393 and Ohio Senate Bill 165 that will allow oil and gas waste, including fracking fluids, to be sold as a “commodity.” These products would be available in stores, and expand the use of hazardous waste as a road deicer by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Oil and gas drilling, including “Fracking” produces massive amounts of polluted waste fluids. These waste fluids contain hundreds of toxic pollutants, including heavy metals, radioactive materials such as radium, and other pollutants that persist in the environment. According to the US EPA, chronic exposure to high levels of radium can result in an increased incidence of bone, liver and breast cancer. In Ohio, there has even been a document incidence of terminal lymphoma.

“Nature’s Own Source”(Seriously?) product, AquaSalina is in fact a TENORM (Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive) product, with combined radium levels exceeding safe federal and state drinking water standards,[1] and Ohio’s limits on radium discharge to the environment. These facts were disclosed in a July, 2017 memo written by inspectors from the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resource Management Radiation Safety Section after testing several samples of AquaSalina, including those from the manufacturer before and after being processed, as well as from containers bought at a Lowe’s Home Center in Akron, OH and the Hartville Hardware Store in Hartville OH. The full memo is enclosed with our testimony, and we want to highlight some of the findings and statements made by the state inspectors.

After evaluating the test results, inspectors determined the following:

  • “All post-samples collected in this study were found to be increased in radioactive activity from the respective pre-samples.”

  • “There was a 45% increase in combined radium Ra 226/Ra 228 concentration between the pre (1) and post (1) samples collected from the Nature’s Own Source/AquaSalina Cleveland production facility.”

  • “There was a 92% increase in combined radium Ra 226/Ra 228 concentration between the pre (2) and post (2) samples collected from the Nature’s Own Source/AquaSalina Cleveland production facility.”

  • “The combined radium Ra 226/Ra 228 concentration in the Nature’s Own Source/AquaSalina container purchased from Hartville Hardware was the highest identified in this study at 2,491 pCi/l.”

  • Safe drinking water limits are 5 pCi/l and Ohio’s effluent discharge limit is 60 pCi/l.

The memo’s main recommendations include :

  • Advising Nature’s Own Source that they are producing TENORMs.

  • Advise the company that the radioactivity of AquaSalina exceeds the safe drinking water standards for combined radium by a factor of 300, and human consumption of ANY AMOUNT is highly discouraged.

  • Advise the company that the radioactivity of AquaSalina exceeds the State of Ohio discharge to the environment limits.

What Lawmakers Propose

  • Risks public health and the environment. Defines oil and gas waste from a vertically fracked well as a “commodity” as long as the seller proves that some contaminants are removed, and the waste is not expected to damage or injure public health, safety or the environment.

  • Treatment process is not specified, and according to a study released by the state of California this year, no one size fits all treatment is effective.

  • Lawmakers argue that since the fluid is generated from “conventional” or “vertical” wells they are safe. Vertical and horizontal wells both produce fluids which contain toxic pollution and radioactive materials, only the concentrations vary.

  • Puts ODOT in charge. The seller must have documentation approved by the Ohio Dept. of Transportation showing the oil and gas waste is “safe”. The Ohio DNR Division of Oil and Gas Chief must accept all approved documentation, losing all oversight of the process.

  • The bill lacks any specific criteria for ODOT’s approval, giving the agency complete discretion to determine if the waste is safe for use. Currently ODOT uses best practices guidelines.

  • Automatic approval - Anyone seeking approval to use oil and gas waste as a commodity can forego showing any documentation whatsoever if their product is on the pacific northwest snowfighters qualified products list.

  • Qualified products are only tested for 11 pollutants, excluding radioactive materials, volatile organic compounds, or even oil and grease. Also missing from the list is bromide, strontium, benzene, toluene,ethylbenzene, and xylene.

  • Limits Sampling - The bill restricts the Ohio DNR Division of Oil and Gas from collecting more than four samples of a commodity to test each year. House Bill 393 lacks any direction for precisely what would be tested, or provide recourse if tests show the presence of contaminants.

  • Removes Local Government Approval

  • Forbids oversight - The bill specifically prohibits the Ohio DNR Division of Oil and Gas from issuing any rules whatsoever that would place additional safeguards on approved commodities.

To be clear, with local government approval, ODOT has been using processed oil and gas waste as a road deicer for years, yet no state agency has fully evaluated the cumulative buildup of contaminants in nearby areas, or if people have been exposed to dangerous chemicals. In fact, lawmakers continually point to the lack of study as evidence no risk exists, instead of calling for additional research.

Numerous studies show oil and gas waste is dangerous, and SB 165 provides no mechanism to ensure “commodities” will actually be safe for people or the environment. Rather than add much needed oversight of “products” already in use, this bill goes in the opposite direction making it easier to sell oil and gas waste, while preventing the state from ever making rules to protect people or the environment.

Call to Action: Please call your Ohio House Member, TODAY! Find your Ohio House Rep.

Call to Action: Please call your Ohio State Senator, TODAY! Find your Ohio Senator

Hello, My name is ____________, and I live in__________, Ohio. I am calling to ask you to oppose HB393/SB165. I am opposed to oil and gas waste being spread on our roadways for deicing. Studies provided to you show that all lab results came back showing high levels of radioactivity.

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