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Toxic Coal Ash and Fracking Wastewater Used to De-Ice Roads

1 min. read

Earlier this month, DeSmogBlog reported on several uses for hazardous, toxic coal ash. For instance:

...it’s also found in a striking array of household goods – from drywall to bowling balls to carpets, and even lipstick. An investigation by DeSmog found that cities or towns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Mexico, Missouri, Oklahoma, Virginia, Illinois, and Colorado have sprayed the toxic waste on roads to combat winter ice and snow.

Obviously, it's completely absurd that a material containing arsenic, selenium, lead, and other contaminants would be allowed for use in household goods and even sprayed on our roads to melt ice and snow. But believe it or not, this practice is not just limited to coal ash.  On Wednesday of this week, Treehugger reported on yet another highly dubious practice using toxic fossil fuel waste materials.

Wastewater from hydrofracking is being used to de-ice roads across New York State, but the environmental organization Riverkeeper warns this practice is a threat to waterways. In addition to a salty mix of minerals, the tracking "brine" can also contain harmful substances.

[...]

Wastewater produced by hydrofracking enjoys exemption from the Federal regulations that usually apply to hazardous wastes. This also extends the distilled by-products...

To sum up: hazardous materials from both coal production and from "fracking" are being used on roads to help melt ice and snow. Of course, when the snow melts and the toxic-laden water runs off, it ends up in streams, rivers...and quite possibly our drinking water supplies. Does that sounds like a smart idea to anyone other than the fossil fuel industry? No, we didn't think so.

Topics: Clean Economy