ToxStrategies scientist, Dr. Bill Rish, testified in front of the Ohio House and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committees on the environmental impacts and human health risks associated with beneficial reuse of brine from vertical oil and gas wells for roadway deicing. Dr. Rish performed an evaluation of the chemical and radiological risks of applying the product to roads in Ohio for deicing and compared its impacts to the use of road salt. He testified based on his assessment that the risks are low and the environmental impact is less than using road salt. He also explained and answered questions about heavy metals, the importance of dose in determining risk, and natural background levels of metals and radiation in Ohio.
Dr. Rish’s testimony was associated with Ohio House Bill 393 and Senate Bill 165, which include provisions to regulate the testing and reuse of conventional oil and gas brine (i.e., not from hydraulically fractured horizontal shale wells).