I have heard second-hand stories about truck drivers being forced, under threat of losing their jobs, to dump their loads of drilling waste illegally. I’ve even seen the damage done by illegal dumping. Before last night, I was never lucky enough to get a first-hand account.
Last night I spoke on the phone to a driver who lives in Colorado. After working for a trucking company for 5 months, this driver was fired for refusing to climb in the tank and shovel it out. Previously, when the driver had shoveled out the tank, the driver was overcome with the fumes.This driver told me about driving with the valves open to let the “flow back” leak out on the road, dumping loads of drilling waste into ponds that were not specifically for drilling waste, onto fields and even dumping “flow back” on a farmer’s land without his knowledge. This driver was certain that this was illegal dumping but protests or questions were met with threats of firing. Other drivers had refused to dump illegally and were fired.
I passed the driver’s name and number to the Oil and Gas Accountability Project.
I’m betting this happens more than we care to imagine.