Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

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

The Earth's atmosphere. NASA

By Jeremy Deaton

You may have heard about the hole in the ozone layer, which hovers over Antarctica. It has shrunk over time thanks to policies that curbed the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. In the nearly 40 years that NASA has kept track, it has never been smaller. That's the good news.

Read More Show Less
Garden interns learn plant and weed identification at the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Cheyenne River Youth Project / Facebook

By Stephanie Woodard

Many Americans are now experiencing an erratic food supply for the first time. Among COVID-19's disruptions are bare supermarket shelves and items available yesterday but nowhere to be found today. As you seek ways to replace them, you can look to Native gardens for ideas and inspiration.

Read More Show Less
Although considered safe overall, aloe vera does carry the risk of making some skin rashes worse. serezniy / Getty Images

By Kristeen Cherney

Skin inflammation, which includes swelling and redness, occurs as an immune system reaction. While redness and swelling can develop for a variety of reasons, rashes and burns are perhaps the most common symptoms. More severe skin inflammation can require medications, but sometimes mild rashes may be aided with home remedies like aloe vera.

Read More Show Less
There are plenty of things you can do every day to help reduce greenhouse gases and your carbon footprint to make a less harmful impact on the environment. ipopba / Getty Images

By Katie Lambert and Sarah Gleim

The United Nations suggests that climate change is not just the defining issue of our time, but we are also at a defining moment in history. Weather patterns are changing and will threaten food production, and sea levels are rising and could cause catastrophic flooding across the globe. Countries must make drastic actions to avoid a future with irreversible damage to major ecosystems and planetary climate.

Read More Show Less
Petri Oeschger / Moment / Getty Images

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Sleep is one of the pillars of optimal health.

Read More Show Less

Junjira Konsang / Pixabay

By Matt Casale

For many Americans across the country, staying home to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) means adapting to long-term telework for the first time. We're doing a lot more video conferencing and working out all the kinks that come along with it.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Looking south from New York City's Central Park. Ajay Suresh / Wikipedia / CC BY 4.0

By Richard leBrasseur

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered humans' relationship with natural landscapes in ways that may be long-lasting. One of its most direct effects on people's daily lives is reduced access to public parks.

Read More Show Less