No Fracking Way

How to Keep Radium 226 Off Your Tires

by Chip Northrup on December 4, 2013

Don’t drive in the winter in New York. Or in the summer on dirt roads. New Yorkers are finding out the hard way how to get Fracksylvania frack filth off their windshields, tires, dogs, kids, plants, what have you. Of course, some New York towns and counties have banned spreading frack filth on roads. Ironically, there are no such county or town bans against spreading frack filth on roads in Texas. Because it is illegal to spread radioactive frack filth on public roads in Texas.

Not from horizontal shale gas wells. Not from vertical oil wells. Not from no fracking wells no how. Comprende ? 

To get rid of frack waste in Texas, some operators simply open the drain and drive down the highway: 

Disposing of Frack Waste in Ft. Worth (on the cheap)

Arrested for Spreading Frack Filth in Texas

Flowback from shale gas wells is not that great for roadside plants, birds, your cat or you. Unless you are on a diet high in arsenic, Radium 226, Radium 228, Cl, Br,Na, K, Ca, Mg, Sr, Ba, Ra, Fe, Mn, and residual frack chemicals – composition  unknown.  But look on the sunny side: if you live next to a road that is slathered with flowback season after season, you won’t need RoundUp to kill the weeds in the ditches. Because there won’t be in any weeds in the ditches. Or any other living thing. And the roadside will glow a radium watch dial green.

Fracking produces more radioactive waste in a week than the nuclear industry does in a year. Have your elected officials banned dumping frack filth on your roads like other states and counties ? If not, get some fresh new elected officials. Starting at the top. 

Copy of the Riverkeeper report on where frack filth is already being dumped on New York roads is here.

Environmental Group Warns of Fracking Waste on NY roads

Got Brine ?

Got Brine ?

ALBANY—Despite a moratorium on fracking in New York State, more than a dozen municipalities have received state approval to spread a fracking byproduct on their roads. The fluid, euphemistically called “production brine can now be spread on roads in Wyoming, Erie, Cattaraugus, and Seneca counties, according to state documents obtained by Riverkeeper, a group that advocates for cleanup of the Hudson River. An additional ten municipalities in Allegany and Steuben counties have received state permission to spread waste fluids from natural gas fracking.

Nine New York counties have banned the use of frack flowback on their roads because it contains pollutants, according to Riverkeeper scientist Bill Wegner. They include five along the Hudson River in the last year: Albany, Orange, Putnam, Westchester and Rockland.

“The biggest concern is the carcinogens; you don’t want that to get into drinking water supplies,” Wegner said.

Frack flowback comes from some of the 6,000 low-volume gas wells currently allowed in New York as well as shale wells in Pennsylvania, and is used for de-icing, dust control and road stabilization. The fluid can pollute rivers, streams and aquifers if not controlled properly, and it contains high levels of chloride, benzene, heavy metals, arsenic, radium and toluene, all of which can cause health problems in humans, Wegner said. And while chloride is contained in the road salt commonly used across the country, it is far more concentrated in fracking waste.  Thirteen municipalities received state permission to use fracking waste, which comes directly out of wells, and 10 use brine that is removed from natural gas after it has been stored for a while. Both contain pollutants.

Got frack slime ?

Got frack slime ?

Riverkeeper obtained the applications of communities applying to spread the fluid on their roads from the state Department of Environmental Conservation through a Freedom of Information Law request. Private businesses in western New York requested the fluid, which is free or cheaper than traditional methods, as did the towns of Genessee and Dunkirk, and the state Department of Transportation in Chautauqua County. Copy of the report here.

The D.E.C. did not respond to request for comment.

Riverkeeper attorney Misti Duvall said the use of fracking brine in the state is concerning because it’s not easy to tell what is in the mix being applied to roads. In fact, Riverkeeper found the state doesn’t always track the source of the frack waste. What’s more, the state also permits the storage of waste that comes from high-volume hydrofracked wells in Pennsylvania or West Virginia, which have much higher concentrations of dangerous chemicals.

“It’s difficult to track where that fluid is coming from and where it is going,” she said.

Riverkeeper wants a ban to be put on frack waste dumping.

What are you waiting for ?

Why States Fail to Regulate Frack Waste

Heres’s where all that radioactive frack waste comes from:

Open the valve and drive around

Just open the valve and drive around . . . 

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Bodnick December 4, 2013 at 9:38 am
Paul Bodnick December 4, 2013 at 9:41 am

We are destroying this country


eileen larkin March 3, 2014 at 6:52 pm

hope it is not used here in Rockland County or upstate new york, Minerva, NY areas. what a way to get rid of

toxins that no one wants.


Maria December 20, 2015 at 9:48 am

Saddest thing about this us the fact that the roadways themselves are often made from coal fired power plant waste.

Good thing something has people paying attention. Now move to action if it don’t kill you first!


Chris Meyer December 23, 2015 at 12:11 am

Tell your local representatives that unless they speak out against this that they will not get your vote in any upcoming elections.


Tim Sullivan December 23, 2015 at 3:59 pm

I remember a southern town that used a dioxin solution on their roads. They were ultimately forced to abandon the town. Why do we never seem to learn? I hope CT has banned this statewide


Randi December 26, 2015 at 7:26 am

That town was Times Beach Missouri. They used contaminated oil. A waste hauler let industry illegally add dioxin wastes to the oil then sold it to the town and spread it on their roads. My sister who is a chemist tested furniture upholstery from homes and found dioxin deep in their cushions. Some farmers here in Ohio are letting them spread it on farm roads.


Joe Sabatino December 29, 2015 at 1:15 pm
I shared your article on facebook. A friend questioned the practice in West Virginia. I looked up the agreement between the Dept. of Highways and the DEP and found this. Is there information that I can confirm of fracking backflow being used in brine ?


Chip Northrup December 29, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Good question. What we’ve learned in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio is that the waste haulers will simply sell/ give the frack waste away to brine spreading contractors – since there is no way to track or test brine from out of state. State agencies only track frack waste in-state, the Pa. DEP does not follow waste haulers into New York. Once in New York, etc. the brine spreaders are not checked – so illegal frack waste spreading is only discovered after the fact – by some observant citizen. Frackers will resort to every trick to get rid of the stuff – in Texas they simply open up the drain valve and drive around:


Leave a Comment

{ 12 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: