Although much has been published regarding the proper disposal of fracking fluid, I have seen little regarding the disposal of drill cuttings, the stuff that comes up during the drilling process. From what I can find, these are not required to be removed from the drilling site in Ohio. It appears that they can be applied to the surface of the land (land farming) or buried in the pit they were collected in during the drilling process. I have read in some of the new land owner group leases that well cuttings must be removed from the site. I would be more comfortable if this were a state requirement. What do others think?


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Really, cuttings???? you do know that cuttings are " the earth" right? Now I am no expert, but aside from the "cutting fluid" which if I remember right is called H2Oand some dirt (aka Mud) placing the "well by product" of the drilling process as fill somewhere it may be needed, rather than adding the expense of hauling "dirt with a H2O", you know mud.

But hey, I may be wrong, it could be some horrible concotion of the most wrecthed filth ever devised (shhhhh, it's a secret squirrel stuff) perhaps some better versed (you expert) person like I dont know, maybe someone unbiased and fair, like the EPA or ODNR (ha ha ha ) or maybe even someone on this site (more unbiased that the first two) should chime in here.  How many of those leases were signed and paid?

jeesh always some one wanting more regulations, Yeah see if you can get a contract or lease with that in there..good luck with that. Of course unless you happen to own 1280 acres of prime drilling land certified to produce or you will pay all the expenses of a dry well, yep good luck.   

Drilling mud is not actually mud.  You know that, right?

Actually there are numerous types of "mud" most economical is the "water based" fluids these contain few if any hazardous materials. then you have oil based and polymer based both way more expensive and used in more "difficult" type wells.

Yeah, I looked it has been a long time since I worked with my grandfather drilling wells and strip mining.

On the internet type in "drilling fluid types" amazing what Al "global warming" Gore invention has done to regular folks, wait he did not invent the internet....I read that on the internet! Oh and pick a reputable site, or you may have a "French Model" reply!!!!

For a good nonfractivist discription of drilling mud and all that it contains click on the following link and then "technology drescriptions".  This site was created with support from the drilling industry.

I am concerned about the disposal of the cuttings that are removed from the mud as well as the spent mud.

I am in favor of drilling but also want to be able to pass clean land on to my grandchildren.  And yes, there are leases that require the drill cuttings to be removed from the drilling site and the producers are doing just that.  My concern is for the land held by old leases that comprises 80% of the lease held land in Ohio.



Some information for you. Also according to the same site (ODNR) "Cutting Fluid" in accordance with the EPA is not considered a Hazardous waste. I can see some small base of concern, but not enough to introduce more laws on a state level. It seems that each of the drilling companies in OHIO are doing all they can to maintain clean and well managed well operations.

Personally I think most companies try real hard to stay inside the requirements and if properly inspected can and will operate without more "goverment" interference, it makes more sense to do it right and avoid those "pesky" future lawsuits.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Managing Drill Cuttings

Oil and gas exploration and production wastes, including drill cuttings and drilling muds, are not classified as hazardous waste under state or federal law.

3 However, when drill cuttings come into contact with sources of contamination (e.g. drilling muds, oils or other contaminants) and are shipped off-site for disposal, Ohio EPA regulates these cuttings as solid waste. Solid waste must be sent to a licensed solid waste landfill for disposal.

3 For more information, see U.S. EPA’s Publication "Exemption of Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Wastes from Federal Hazardous Waste Regulations," available at

If you want to dispose of drill cuttings at the drill site, this activity must be approved by ODNR. For more information about managing drill cuttings on the drill site, contact ODNR-DOGRM.

Ohio EPA will consider proposals to beneficially reuse drill cuttings off-site. However, anyone interested in beneficially reusing drill cuttings off-site must get prior authorization for this activity from Ohio EPA’s Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM). For more information on the solid waste requirements or beneficial reuse options, contact Ohio EPA, DMWM.

It turns out that someone in Columbus is concerned about the disposal of drill cuttings and has added new codes in the state budget under HB 59 that can be found at the following site.  The site referenced below is 21 pages but the paragraphs that deal with the disposal of  cuttings containing technologically enhanced naturally occuring radioactive material (TENORM) are on the first three pages.

It appears to me that the primary concern has to do with what happens when the material is removed from the drilling site but does not require that it be removed from the site.  I hope that gets changed.



Have some Guar Gum, on me.


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