Quantcast

Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Dumping Toxic Fracking Wastewater Into River

Energy

EcoWatch

By Laura Beans

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Last year, more than 14 million gallons of radioactive toxic fracking wastewater was injected into Ohio's Class II disposal wells, with more than half of the wastewater coming from out-of-state.

While some toxic fracking wastewater is injected into wells, it has also been dumped illegally into streams and rivers, contaminating Ohio's waterways.

According to The Plain Dealer, Michael Guesman, an employee of Hardrock Excavating—a company that stored, treated and disposed of oil and gas drilling waste—appeared in U.S. District Court yesterday admitting that he dumped tens of thousands of gallons of fracking waste into a tributary of the Mahoning River on at least 24 separate occasions.

The Plain Dealer reported that Guesman acted on the orders of his boss, owner Ben Lupo, when he ran a hose from the 20,000-gallon storage tanks to a nearby storm water drain and opened the release valve. A gusher of waste liquid left over from hydraulic fracturing operations poured into the drain, sending saltwater brine and a slurry of toxic oil-based drilling mud, containing benzene, toluene and other hazardous pollutants, flowing into the Mahoning, prosecutors said.

"It is apparent that widespread abuse of our environment has been going on for much longer than has been reported in the media," Ohio State Rep. Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) told EcoWatch today.

"This plea of guilt should open us to even more information on how some in the gas and oil industry have hidden their abuse of our ecosystem and will show their total disregard for anything other than their bottom line," said Hagan. "Greed and money are really a toxic mix."

Despite this illegal dumping, according to Athens County Fracking Action Network, a permit application was submitted this week for yet another injection well for Athens County, by K&HP Partners of West Virginia. The proposed well would permit up to 4,000 barrels a day—more than 61 million gallons a year—of frack waste, most from out-of-state.

“I was shocked to see K&H has submitted an application for a second injection well," said former Athens County Children’s Services Director Andrea Reik. "If approved as expected by ODNR [Ohio Department of Natural Resources], this well will accept more than 61,000,000 gallons of toxic, radioactive frack waste annually to be pumped directly into our land.

“ODNR does not test drinking or other water around waste wells, so it has no idea how often water wells have been contaminated by the pumping of many millions of gallons of toxic, radioactive waste under our land,” continued Reik. “There is great concern being expressed statewide about this assault. Legislation has been introduced into the Ohio House—HB 148—and Senate—SB 178—to ban injection wells in Ohio."

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

——–

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A tropical storm above Bangkok on Aug. 04, 2016. Hristo Rusev/ NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Jeff Turrentine

First off: Bangkok Wakes to Rain, the intricately wrought, elegantly crafted debut novel by the Thai-American author Pitchaya Sudbanthad, isn't really about climate change. This tale set in the sprawling subtropical Thai capital is ultimately a kind of family saga — although its interconnected characters aren't necessarily linked by a bloodline. What binds them is their relationship to a small parcel of urban land on which has variously stood a Christian mission, an upper-class family house, and a towering condominium. All of the characters have either called this place home or had some other significant connection to it.

Read More Show Less
orn_france / iStock / Getty Images

By Susan McCabe, BSc, RD

Dioscorea alata is a species of yam commonly referred to as purple yam, ube, violet yam, or water yam.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Left: MirageC / Moment / Getty Images Right: Pongsak Tawansaeng / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, LD

Sole water is water saturated with pink Himalayan salt.

Read More Show Less
People march to TCF Bank Stadium to protest against the mascot for the Washington Redskins before the game against the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 2, 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hannah Foslien / Getty Images

Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law Thursday banning public schools or universities in the state from using Native American mascots, names or imagery. Mills' action will make Maine the first state in the nation with such a ban once it goes into effect later this year, The Bangor Daily News reported.

Read More Show Less
A man protests against the use of disposable plastics outside the Houses of Parliament on March 28 in London. John Keeble / Getty Images

Plastic pollution across the globe is suffocating our planet and driving Earth toward catastrophic climatic conditions if not curbed significantly and immediately, according to a new report by the Center for International Environmental Law (CEIL).

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill on April 2 in Washington, DC. Zach Gibson / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

A new climate action plan put forth by Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday is being praised for highlighting the enormous benefits that would result from a rapid shift in the U.S. to a renewable energy economy that centers on the needs of workers and vulnerable communities.

Read More Show Less

Mitshu / E+ / Getty Images

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

Veganism is a way of living that tries to minimize animal exploitation and cruelty.

Read More Show Less

6okean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A federal judge ruled this week that the Food and Drug Administration must begin implementing regulations for the many types of e-cigarettes now on the market in the U.S.

Read More Show Less