Columbus—Today, State Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) has introduced legislation to address the illegal dumping of brine to protect the environment. Senate Bill 217 will make revisions to the Ohio Oil and Gas Law to increase penalties and revoke permits for the improper disposal of brine.

Brine is a by-product of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which is the process of pumping a mix of sand, chemicals and water underground to shatter shale rocks and release trapped gas and oil. There have been numerous reports of illegal dumping of this toxic waste material into private and public waterways. One of the best-known cases happened in Senator Schiavoni’s home district, where tens of thousands of gallons of brine were dumped into the Mahoning River.

“The improper disposal of brine is a threat to clean water and it must be stopped,” said Senator Schiavoni. “As a legislature, we must do more to protect our state’s natural resources and the health of our communities.”

The bill will not hinder oil and gas exploration throughout eastern and northeastern Ohio, but it will make clear that intentional incidents of improper disposal will not be tolerated and will have serious consequences.  

The legislation is a reintroduction of Senate Bill 120 from the 131st General Assembly.

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