Criminal Justice Update
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Criminal Justice Update

Changes arm first responders with details at drilling sites

Recent changes to Ohio law enhance public safety in light of a renewed interest in oil and gas drilling and heightened concerns about hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in the state.
The changes, advocated by Attorney General Mike DeWine, provide for more detailed disclosure of chemicals used to drill and stimulate wells and harsher penalties for violations. They took effect Sept. 10, amending Chapter 1509 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Under the law, a medical professional assisting someone injured in a well incident may request, and must be given, the exact chemical composition of substances used to drill and develop a well, even if the information is a trade secret.
The changes also require the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to post Material Safety Data Sheets and other chemical information from owners on the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management’s website.
Well owners are responsible for additional recordkeeping and reporting, such as specifying each chemical’s Chemical Abstract Service number and maximum concentration. They also must disclose all chemicals to the chief of ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management upon the chief’s request and keep chemical records for up to two years. Violations of oil and gas laws, rules, or permit terms are punishable by criminal and civil enforcement, including penalties of up to $4,000 per day, up from the previous limit of $4,000 per incident.
Additional information, including a well locator search, is available at From the ODNR links section, click on the shale development and oil and gas tabs.