Study: Waste from Marcellus and Utica Shale Puts Public at Risk | InsideClimate News
Pictured above is a drilling waste pit in Pennsylvania. Credit Frank Finan/Earthworks. “Disposal of oil-and-gas waste has generated little attention, yet it puts people at risk of exposure to chemicals including benzene, which can cause cancer,” according to InsideClimate News.
Weakness in state regulations governing hazardous oil-and-gas waste have allowed the leftovers to be disposed of with little regard to the dangers they pose to human health and the environment, according to a recent study by the environmental organization Earthworks.
The report says states disregard the risks because of a decades-old federal regulation that allows oil-and-gas waste to be handled as non-hazardous material. Those rules, established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1988, exempted the waste from the stricter disposal requirements required of hazardous substances and allowed the states to establish their own disposal standards.
In its report, “Wasting Away: Four states’ failure to manage gas and oil field waste from the Marcellus and Utica Shale,” Earthworks studied rules governing disposal of the often toxic waste––and the gaps in those regulations in New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.