OH Conventional Oil Well Driller Fined for Dumping Brine in Ditch

jail cellWe have to confess this story completely escaped us–until now. But we think we know why. We spotted a story (below) in a Wheeling, WV newspaper about an Ohio driller who was caught–back in 2011–dumping about 50 gallons per week of brine from some of his oil wells into an open ditch in Monroe County, OH. The story implies the brine (i.e. wastewater) is from fracked wells. The story is wrong. The brine is from conventional oil wells, not fracked shale wells. The driller/operator of the wells is one Donald Hercher and he’s just been sentenced to four days in jail, two years of probation, and a $70,000 fine. Aside from setting the record straight, the reason the story interests us is because of several other aspects of Hercher’s punishment–he’s being forced to write and publish an article in three trade journals “to educate readers on the ‘Waterways of the U.S.'” and to donate $5,000 to a private organization…

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