Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

'Don't Waste Ohio' Coalition Says No to Fracking Wastewater Injection Wells

Energy
'Don't Waste Ohio' Coalition Says No to Fracking Wastewater Injection Wells

A coalition of local, statewide and national groups concerned about toxic waste from fracking, gathered yesterday at the Ohio statehouse for “Don’t Waste Ohio” Legislator Accountability Day. The coalition called for an end to Ohio being used as a regional dumping ground for oil and gas waste. Participants attending the accountability day met with their legislators in the morning and attended a rally in the afternoon advocating for the passage of legislation in both the House and Senate that would ban fracking wastewater injection wells.

In 2012, the City of Cincinnati banned facking wastewater injection wells within city limits. Following the unanimous vote on the ordinance, residents called on State Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) to take action on the state level. Along with fellow co-sponsor Rep. Robert Hagan (D-Youngstown), Rep. Driehaus introduced House Bill 148, which would enact a statewide ban on the underground injection of fracking waste. Sen. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) followed suit by introducing the same legislation in the Senate.

“It’s like we have a sign on our backs here in Ohio for the industry saying ‘Dump your waste here,’" said Alison Auciello, an organizer with Food & Water Watch. "We don’t know what is in the waste or how radioactive it really is, and the leaders in the state legislature haven’t even allowed the legislation to be open for testimony from the public. We need to protect Ohio communities, not risk them for cheap, easy disposal of the oil and gas industry’s dirty leftovers.”

In 2013, the fracking industry disposed of nearly 700 million gallons of fracking waste in Ohio by injecting it underground into Class II wells, an increase of 100 million gallons from the previous year. More than half of the wastewater injected each year in Ohio comes from out-of-state fracking operations. Ohio is home to more than 200 active injection well sites. Pennsylvania has five active injection wells.

“What is shocking is how quickly the administration and ODNR [Ohio Department of Natural Resources] move forward to allow more and more waste injection without knowing the effects underground," said Susie Beiersdorfer, geologist and member of Frackfree Mahoning Valley. “We’ve seen problematic injection wells, sporadic inspections and earthquakes. But, the agency charged with protecting us sounds just like the oil and gas industry when they minimize or dismiss the problems.”

Under Ohio regulation, local municipalities and residents cannot appeal issued permits or decide where and whether fracking activity happens in their community. There is a short public comment period for injection well permit applications, but despite overwhelming opposition the ODNR continues to issue new permits.

“The ODNR has failed to hold public hearings concerning the proposed injection well, ignored and denied lawful information requests, and continues to act in a capricious and arbitrary manner concerning the citizen's stated objections," Kip Rondy, farmer and owner of Green Edge Gardens, told a judge after he was arrested with eight others blockading a fracking waterwater injection well site in Athens County, OH.

"It is then, when we the citizenry of Athens County, facing the real and permanent threat to our aquifer, our air, our Earth—when the will of lawfully elected officials is ignored—that the acts of civil disobedience before the court today are not merely justified, but become obligatory.”

Watch this video of legislator accountability day produced by Bill Baker:

——–

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE

Ohio Executive Pleads Guilty, Faces Three Years in Prison For Dumping Fracking Wastewater

Fracking Waste Injection Wells Put Millions of Californians at Risk of Increased Earthquakes

Shalefield Stories: Personal Accounts From the Frontlines of Fracking

——–

 

A North Atlantic right whale feeds off the shores of Duxbury Beach, Massachusetts in 2015. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The population of extremely endangered North Atlantic right whales has fallen even further in the last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Monday.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Hundreds of Canadian children took part in a massive protest march against climate change in Toronto, Canada, on May 24, 2019. Creative Touch Imaging Ltd. / NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Heather Houser

Compost. Fly less. Reduce your meat consumption. Say no to plastic. These imperatives are familiar ones in the repertoire of individual actions to reduce a person's environmental impact. Don't have kids, or maybe just one. This climate action appears less frequently in that repertoire, but it's gaining currency as climate catastrophes mount. One study has shown that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from having one fewer child in the United States is 20 times higher—yes 2000% greater—than the impact of lifestyle changes like those listed above.

Read More Show Less

Trending

For the first time on record, the main nursery of Arctic sea ice in Siberia has yet to start freezing by late October. Euronews / YouTube

By Sharon Guynup

At this time of year, in Russia's far north Laptev Sea, the sun hovers near the horizon during the day, generating little warmth, as the region heads towards months of polar night. By late September or early October, the sea's shallow waters should be a vast, frozen expanse.

Read More Show Less
Fossil remains indicate these birds had a wingspan of over 20 feet. Brian Choo, CC BY-NC-SA

By Peter A. Kloess

Picture Antarctica today and what comes to mind? Large ice floes bobbing in the Southern Ocean? Maybe a remote outpost populated with scientists from around the world? Or perhaps colonies of penguins puttering amid vast open tracts of snow?

Read More Show Less
A baby orangutan displaced by palm oil plantation logging is seen at Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Center in Borneo, Indonesia on May 27, 2017. Jonathan Perugia / In Pictures / Getty Images

The world's largest financial institutions loaned more than $2.6 trillion in 2019 to sectors driving the climate crisis and wildlife destruction, according to a new report from advocacy organization portfolio.earth.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch