Quantcast

Cincinnati Becomes First Ohio City to Ban Fracking Injection Wells

Energy

Southwest Ohio No Frack Forum

Members of the Southwest Ohio No Frack Forum, who marched in the July 4 parade, have been actively engaging Cincinnati City Council about fracking since January of this year.

Today, Cincinnati City Council voted unanimously to ban fracking injection well sites within its city limits, making Cincinnati the first city in Ohio to restrict toxic fracking wastewater from being pumped underground.

Following today’s vote, the citizen’s advocacy coalition Southwest Ohio No Frack Forum called on Ohio state legislatures to protect residents and their natural resources by banning all fracking-related activity throughout the state.

Fracking is an unconventional natural gas drilling method that involves pumping millions of gallons of water, silica sand and as many as 750 chemicals into the earth to release natural gas from hard rock formations. About half of the water used in the fracking process comes back up from the well and is so highly contaminated that it can't be put back into the water cycle. In Ohio, this fracking wastewater is being high-pressure injected into well sites as far down as 8,000 feet below the ground.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) expects to permit more than 2,250 fracking wells by 2015, which would allow billions of gallons of toxic fracking wastewater to be pumped underground. Though local geologists claim that Cincinnati is not a favorable location for fracking, the shallow layer of sandstone makes it a desirable site for wastewater injection wells.

Fifty percent of the fracking wastewater being injected in Ohio well sites is coming from out of state, including Pennsylvania and as far away as Texas.

Alison Auciello, coalition member and an Ohio-based organizer for Food & Water Watch said, “We are happy that council has acted quickly to protect Cincinnati residents from the associated risks of underground waste disposal. We look forward their continued leadership on the issue of fracking.”

Injection of fracking wastewater into a disposal well in Youngstown was determined to be the cause of at least 11 recent earthquakes, according to the ODNR.

In their testimony at Tuesday’s committee meeting on the ordinance, citizens raised concerns about the potential for landslides resulting from increased earthquakes.

“The sludge and flammable wastes from fracking in eastern Ohio pose a health risk if they are transported here,” said No Frack Forum member Jim O’Reilly. “We applaud Cincinnati for taking the lead on saving us from the deluge of eastern Ohio's toxic chemical wastes.”

A 2004 state law removed local zoning authority from municipalities specifically regarding the permitting of oil and gas activities. However, city council has the ability to prohibit all types of injection wells as a zoning use.

“I’m proud to be a leader in the first city council in Ohio to ban injection wells," said Council Member Laure Quinlivan. “We’re acting to make Cincinnati cleaner, greener and smarter.”

For more information on fracking, including a list of communities that have taken action against fracking-related activities visit http://www.fwwatch.org/water/fracking. For fact sheets on Ohio fracking legislation, visit http://www.nofrackohio.com/legislation-fact-sheets

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

--------

The Southwest Ohio No Frack Forum is a coalition of multiple non-profit organizations and local citizens working in tandem to protect vital water sources and infrastructure from dangerous fracking activities. Through advocacy and political action, the coalition seeks to maintain the health, safety, and welfare of citizens throughout Southwest Ohio.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A verdant and productive urban garden in Havana. Susanne Bollinger / Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Brown

When countries run short of food, they need to find solutions fast, and one answer can be urban farming.

Read More Show Less
Trevor Noah appears on set during a taping of "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" in New York on Nov. 26, 2018. The Daily Show With Trevor Noah / YouTube screenshot

By Lakshmi Magon

This year, three studies showed that humor is useful for engaging the public about climate change. The studies, published in The Journal of Science Communication, Comedy Studies and Science Communication, added to the growing wave of scientists, entertainers and politicians who agree.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
rhodesj / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Cities around the country are considering following the lead of Berkeley, California, which became the first city to ban the installation of natural gas lines in new homes this summer.

Read More Show Less
Rebecca Burgess came up with the idea of a fibersheds project to develop an eco-friendly, locally sourced wardrobe. Nicolás Boullosa / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

If I were to open my refrigerator, the origins of most of the food wouldn't be too much of a mystery — the milk, cheese and produce all come from relatively nearby farms. I can tell from the labels on other packaged goods if they're fair trade, non-GMO or organic.

Read More Show Less
A television crew reports on Hurricane Dorian while waves crash against the Banana River sea wall. Paul Hennessy / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

Some good news, for a change, about climate change: When hundreds of newsrooms focus their attention on the climate crisis, all at the same time, the public conversation about the problem gets better: more prominent, more informative, more urgent.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) met with Bill Gates on Nov. 7 to discuss climate change and ways to address the challenge. Senator Chris Coons

The U.S. Senate's bipartisan climate caucus started with just two members, a Republican from Indiana and a Democrat from Delaware. Now it's up to eight members after two Democrats, one Independent and three more Republicans joined the caucus last week, as The Hill reported.

Read More Show Less
EPA scientists survey aquatic life in Newport, Oregon. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to significantly limit the use of science in agency rulemaking around public health, the The New York Times reports.

Read More Show Less
A timelapse video shows synthetic material and baby fish collected from a plankton sample from a surface slick taken off Hawaii's coast. Honolulu Star-Advertiser / YouTube screenshot

A team of researchers led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration didn't intend to study plastic pollution when they towed a tiny mesh net through the waters off Hawaii's West Coast. Instead, they wanted to learn more about the habits of larval fish.

Read More Show Less