Surface spreading of drilling wastes

Many states allow “brine” (produced water) from conventional drilling operations to be spread on roads as a de-icer and dust suppressant. Brine can contain high levels of salt, chloride, and chemicals, which can pose risks to wildlife, vegetation, and drinking water.

Some states, such as Kansas and Texas, also allow oil and gas waste to be mixed with soil and spread on land, where it is supposed to biodegrade. However, this practice has resulted in groundwater and soil pollution because of inadequate pre-treatment and excessive application and has been associated with health symptoms among nearby residents.