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Don’t pollute Ohio rivers and streams with fracking water

Published: Wed, February 27, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Don’t pollute Ohio rivers and streams with fracking water

Columbus Dispatch: State officials charged with protecting Ohio’s environment should take steps to ensure that the water left over from hydraulic fracturing doesn’t pollute streams, lakes or groundwater.

Because fracking of shale for oil and gas is a relatively new and fast-growing industry in Ohio, that means building from scratch a system to keep track of the companies that recycled fracking waste. This includes how many are operating, how much waste they handle and what they do with it. At the same time, more research is needed so that policymakers know more about the dangers posed by the wastewater and chemicals in it.

Budget provides a start

Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget includes a good start: a provision banning disposal of treated waste from oil and gas wells into lakes, streams or groundwater.

ODNR supports the water-dumping ban in Kasich’s budget, and also is using a $49,000 state grant to study and identify the best-available technologies and practices for recycling of fracking waste.

That might be only a modest start to the information Ohio needs to make sure the fracking boom remains a turbo-charged boost to the state’s economy, without fouling its waters. Helping identify a safe and effective method for recycling fracking wastewater would be a valuable accomplishment.

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