Groups Petition US EPA to Revoke Ohio’s Regulation of Waste Disposal Wells

A coalition of 27 environmental and civil rights groups claim that Ohio’s failure to take enforcement action against companies that violate regulations is endangering drinking water sources.

“Operators currently produce billions of tons of waste annually, and much of this waste ends up in Class II wells in Ohio. The waste injected into these wells is radioactive and contains toxic levels of various organic and inorganic pollutants, including PFAS, also known as forever chemicals. As this petition lays out, Ohio’s program has failed to safely manage this huge influx of waste.”

Earthjustice attorney Megan Hunter

Petition to Determine by Rule that Ohio’s Class II Injection Well Permitting Program No Longer Represents an Effective Program to Prevent Underground Injection that Endangers Drinking Water Sources and Fails to Comply with the Requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act:

“These consequences include oil and gas waste making its way to the surface miles away from injection well sites, polluting the environment, and endangering underground sources of drinking water.”

Earthjustice attorney Megan Hunter

Injection of wastewater has led to some of these earthquakes and water pollution:

Interactive Map Source
Exclusions in Oklahoma insurance policy where earthquakes increased proportionately to injection well volumes.

“The demand for injection wells has been so great that, at times, brine haulers have been observed dumping this waste in surface waterways. This is clearly an unsustainable system, and the human and environmental health of eastern Ohio should be prioritized higher than oil and gas industry profits.”

University of Cincinnati researcher Amy Townsend-Small, professor of Environmental Science

MORE: Story by Julie Grant | The Allegheny Front | October 14, 2022

USGS Earthquake Map

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