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Fifty people, including Athens County Commissioner Charlie Adkins and Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl, braved the rain and cold today to gather at the Athens County Courthouse plaza, bedecked for the occasion with a full-sized outhouse, chanting "We are not the nation's toxic toilet."
The Athens rally was one of four events in Ohio announcing the filing of a citizens’ petition to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was written on behalf of all Ohio citizens by Teresa Mills from the Center for Health, Environment and Justice and Buckeye Forest Council. More than two hundred groups and individuals around the state signed the letter calling on the U.S. EPA to do a full audit of Ohio’s underground injection control program and to suspend Ohio’s primacy, or right to control the injection well program. Other events were held in Columbus, Youngstown and Portage County.
Speakers at the Athens event described the long violation history of Athens County’s Ginsburg injection well, at which Appalachia Resist! organized actions last June and November, and of the recent intentional dumping of as much as 250,000 gallons of toxic, radioactive frack waste over a period of month into a tributary of the Mahoning River by Ben Lupo and his companies. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (NRDC) allowed Lupo’s multiple operations to continue for decades in spite of at least 120 violations, many of them serious. Lupo is being tried for federal violations of the Clean Water Act for the Mahoning dumping and faces penalties much steeper than Ohio would inflict, according to Ohio Attorney Mike Dewine.
Grace Hall, a member of Athens County Fracking Action Network, the event’s sponsor, told the crowd, “Ohio Department of Natural Resources is not doing its job. It should be protecting Ohioans from carcinogenic, radioactive frack waste. Instead, it allows waste injection wells to operate for years after they have failed serious safety inspections.”
Crissa Cummings, the event’s emcee, stated, "Last year over 500 million gallons of toxic, radioactive frack waste was dumped in Ohio communities. Over half of this came from Pennsylvania and West Virginia. We desperately need public servants who can protect us from the money-hungry fracking industry. ODNR obviously can't. We need U.S. EPA to take back permitting and regulation of Class II injection wells. In Pennsylvania where U.S. EPA is in charge, there are five operating injection wells. Ohio has 179, with more on the way, despite landowner resistance." One example of landowner resistance is the Atha injection well permit being opposed by Athens County Commissioners and hundreds of Athens County citizens and contested by the landowner, Melvina Mae Frost, where the well is proposed.
Other speakers included Nate Ebert, who is facing charges for his recent daylong occupation of a tripod at Greenhunter's New Matamoras frack waste transfer facility, and Melissa Wales, co-director of Ohio University's United Campus Ministry. Hall addressed the risks of barging frack waste on the Ohio River to the five million people who depend on drinking water that would be impacte by toxic radioactive waste spills in the river.
Wales spoke of past exploitation of Appalachia, but also of the region's "thriving arts scene and entrepreneurial spirit along with one of the most highly touted local food systems anywhere in the nation." She concluded, "We have a vision of who we are, where we want to go and what we want to be that is inclusive, holistic, healthy and sustainable for all of us. The dangerous, exploitative, unregulated and toxic fracking industry cannot be a part of that future."
The event concluded with Space Welch calling on ralliers to speak out to elected officials and to the U.S. Coast Guard, which can require an Environmental Impact Statement before approving barging of frack waste on the Ohio River.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
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Cabin fever is often associated with being cooped up on a rainy weekend or stuck inside during a winter blizzard.
In reality, though, it can actually occur anytime you feel isolated or disconnected from the outside world.
What is cabin fever?<p>In popular expressions, cabin fever is used to explain feeling bored or listless because you've been stuck inside for a few hours or days. But that's not the reality of the symptoms.</p><p>Instead, cabin fever is a series of negative emotions and distressing sensations people may face if they're isolated or feeling cut off from the world.</p><p>These feelings of isolation and loneliness are more likely in times of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/yes-covid-19-cases-are-rising-why-you-still-need-to-practice-social-distancing" target="_blank">social distancing</a>, self-quarantining during a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-pandemic" target="_blank">pandemic</a>, or sheltering in place because of severe weather.</p><p>Indeed, cabin fever can lead to a series of symptoms that can be difficult to manage without proper coping techniques.</p><p>Cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological disorder, but that doesn't mean the feelings aren't real. The distress is very real. It can make fulfilling the requirements of everyday life difficult.</p>
What are the symptoms?<p>Symptoms of cabin fever go far beyond feeling bored or "stuck" at home. They're rooted in an intense feeling of isolation and may include:</p><ul><li>restlessness</li><li>decreased motivation</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irritability" target="_blank">irritability</a></li><li>hopelessness</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/unable-to-concentrate" target="_blank">difficulty concentrating</a></li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irregular-sleep-wake-syndrome" target="_blank">irregular sleep patterns</a>, including sleepiness or sleeplessness</li><li>difficulty waking up</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/lethargy" target="_blank">lethargy</a></li><li>distrust of people around you</li><li>lack of patience</li><li>persistent <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/depression-vs-sadness" target="_blank">sadness or depression<br></a></li></ul>
What can help you cope with cabin fever?<p>Because cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological condition, there's no standard "treatment." However, mental health professionals do recognize that the symptoms are very real.</p><p>The coping mechanism that works best for you will have a lot to do with your personal situation and the reason you're secluded in the first place.</p><p>Finding meaningful ways to engage your brain and occupy your time can help alleviate the distress and irritability that cabin fever brings.</p><p>The following ideas are a good place to start.</p>
When to get help<p>Cabin fever is often a fleeting feeling. You may feel irritable or frustrated for a few hours, but having a virtual chat with a friend or finding a task to distract your mind may help erase the frustrations you felt earlier.</p><p>Sometimes, however, the feelings may grow stronger, and no coping mechanisms may be able to successfully help you eliminate your feelings of isolation, sadness, or depression.</p><p>What's more, if your time indoors is prolonged by outside forces, like weather or extended shelter-in-place orders from your local government, feelings of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety" target="_blank">anxiety</a> and fear are valid.</p><p>In fact, anxiety may be at the root of some cabin fever symptoms. This may make symptoms worse.</p><p>If you feel that your symptoms are getting worse, consider reaching out to a mental health professional who can help you understand what you're experiencing. Together, you can identify ways to overcome the feelings and anxiety.</p><p>Of course, if you're in isolation or practicing social distancing, you'll need to look for alternative means for seeing a mental health expert.</p><p>Telehealth options may be available to connect you with your therapist if you already have one. If you don't, reach out to your doctor for recommendations about mental health specialists who can connect with you online.</p><p>If you don't want to talk to a therapist, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/top-iphone-android-apps" target="_blank">smartphone apps for depression</a> may provide a complementary option for addressing your cabin fever symptoms.</p>
The bottom line<p>Isolation isn't a natural state for many people. We are, for the most part, social animals. We enjoy each other's company. That's what can make staying at home for extended periods of time difficult.</p><p>However, whether you're sheltering at home to avoid dangerous weather conditions or heeding the guidelines to help minimize the spread of a disease, staying at home is often an important thing we must do for ourselves and our communities.</p><p>If and when it's necessary, finding ways to engage your brain and occupy your time may help bat back cabin fever and the feelings of isolation and restlessness that often accompany it.</p>
Pope Francis spoke about the novel coronavirus, suggesting that the global pandemic might be one of nature's responses to the man-made climate crisis.
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