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Gerberry would tax fracking wastewater recycling operations

Published: Fri, March 30, 2012 @ 10:57 a.m.

Gerberry would tax fracking wastewater recycling operations


State Rep. Ronald V. Gerberry of Austintown, D-59th, has introduced legislation that would tax fracking wastewater recycling operations to offset infrastructure wear-and-tear from the oil and gas industry.

Under the new legislation, counties, townships or municipal corporations where brine recycling facilities are located could impose a 17.5 cents-per-barrel tax on recycled brine.

“Brine recycling facilities can be hard on local infrastructure,” Gerberry said. “Townships and counties don’t have the resources to deal with additional costs like worn-out roads resulting from increased traffic. This bill will assist them in generating needed revenue to cover these increased expenses.”

The only fracking wastewater site in the Valley is currently Patriot Water Treatment LLC in Warren.

Patriot does not pay the state’s “brine tax,” which levies a five-cent-per-barrel fee on brine originating in-state and a 20-cent-per-barrel fee on out-of-state brine.

Another proposed recycling facility in Mahoning County has not yet been announced.

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. has a recycling system in Carrollton. It is not known how local governments could tax recycled brine since that data is not tracked by the state.

In Mahoning and Trumbull counties, the engineer’s offices have developed road-maintenance agreements with drilling companies to pay for road repairs and infrastructure updates.

Marilyn Kenner, chief deputy engineer in Mahoning County has repeatedly said the business relationship between the county and the drilling companies has worked so far, and does not want to see state-mandated road-maintenance agreements take effect.

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