Many of us had thought that dumping brine water from oil wells into creeks and unlined pits was just common industry practice.
seemed to do it all the time. And in these parts it wasn’t just Ashland doing it. Ashland
However, this study of oil field waste disposal practices shows something different. The summary of the study was pretty clear:
…oil field production problems have been with us for many decades…the oil and gas industry, through the American Petroleum Institute – a trade association, appointed a committee, the Committee on Disposal of Production Wastes, to examine the problem. The Committee issued a report through its Chairman, V. L. Martin, in 1932, at an API chapter meeting. That API report further discredited the use of pits or “evaporation ponds” because they don’t result in disposal by evaporation, except in unusual cases, and they cause seepage into the ground and groundwater. A later report (Elliston, 1942) by the API Central Committee on Drilling and Production Practice recommended tanks and injection wells for disposal of produced water.
(hat tip to Elizabeth Burns)