Cartwright Sends Letters to Ohio and West Virginia’s Environmental Administrators Regarding Fracking Waste Disposal

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright sent letters to Randy Huffman, the Cabinet Secretary for West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection, and Craig Butler, the Director of Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency.  The letters are a significant step in a comprehensive investigation Cartwright is leading in his role as Ranking Member of the Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The letters requests information about the respective state’s regulatory process for monitoring the handling and disposal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) waste.

Cartwright writes, “As you know, fracking wastes are categorized as “special wastes” and are exempt from federal hazardous waste regulations under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  As a result, fracking wastes are regulated as non-hazardous wastes by state governments under the less stringent RCRA Subtitle D solid waste regulations.  I am writing to inquire about your state’s reporting requirements for fracking operators, fracking waste transporters and disposal site operators.”

The letters go on to ask several detailed questions about the waste disposal practices and oversight capabilities in both Ohio and West Virginia.  Just last month Cartwright sent a similar letter to Pennsylvania’s acting Department of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP) Secretary Dana Aunkst.

In Pennsylvania, the state’s oversight of the process has come under scrutiny after the release of PA Auditor General Eugene Depasquale’s audit of the PA-DEP’s performance in monitoring potential impacts to water quality from fracking.

The audit concluded that Pennsylvania’s current system for oversight of fracking waste “is not an effective monitoring tool” and “it is not proactive in discouraging improper, even illegal, disposal of waste.”

Rep. Matt Cartwright represents Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District, which includes Schuylkill County and portions of Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, and Northampton Counties.  Cartwright serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Press Release Provided For Immediate Release By:

Shane Seaver


November 19, 2014