Brine & Waste


How Oil & Gas Waste is Addressed in Ohio

  • Injected Underground: The two common forms of slurry injection are annular injection and injection into a disposal well. Annular injection introduces the waste slurry through the space between two casing strings (known as the annulus). At the lower end of the outermost casing string, the slurry enters the formation. The disposal well alternative involves injection to either a section of the drilled hole that is below all casing strings, or to a section of the casing that has been perforated with a series of holes at the depth of an injection formation.
  • Land Treatment (also known as land spreading), is where natural soil processes are used to biodegrade the organic constituents in the waste. In land treatment, a one-time application of the waste is made to a parcel of land. The objective is to dispose of the waste in a manner that preserves the subsoil’s chemical, biological, and physical properties by limiting the accumulation of contaminants and protecting the quality of surface and groundwater. The land spreading area is determined on the basis of a calculated loading rate that considers the absolute salt concentration, hydrocarbon concentration, metals concentration, and pH level after mixing with the soil. The drilling waste is spread on the land and incorporated into the upper soil zone (typically upper 6-8 inches of soil) to enhance hydrocarbon volatization and biodegradation. The land is managed so that the soil system can degrade, transport, and assimilate the waste constituents. Each land treatment site is generally used only once. When evaluating land spreading as a drilling waste management option, several items should be considered. These include area-wide topographical and geological features; current and likely future activities around the disposal site; hydrogeologic data (location, size, and direction of flow for existing surface water bodies and fresh or useable aquifers); natural or existing drainage patterns; nearby environmentally sensitive features such as wetlands, urban areas, historical or archeological sites, and protected habitats; the presence of endangered species; and potential air quality impacts. In addition, historical rainfall distribution data should be reviewed to establish moisture requirements for land spreading and predict net evaporation rates. Devices needed to control water flow into, onto, or from facility systems should be identified. Wastes should be characterized during the evaluation; drilling wastes with high levels of hydrocarbons and salts may not be appropriate for land spreading.

Ohio Brine Test Results

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Brine Road Spreading Information

Class II Injection Well Rules (comments Aug 2012)

Ohioans Request U.S. EPA Review the state’s regulatory program