Tag Archives: regulation

ODNR Injection Well Permit Appealed

Formal Complaint to USEPA Filed

By ACFAN

The Athens County Fracking Action Network (ACFAN) has filed a legal appeal of the K&H 2 injection well permit issued last month by Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Oil and Gas. The well would be the second on the property owned by K&H Partners of West Virginia, in Troy Township, Athens County, and would dispose of 168,000 gallons or more of frack waste per day. The appeal is the first of an ODNR injection well permit filed in over twenty years. Continue reading

New Version of the Athens Community Bill of Rights and Water Supply Protection Ordinance

The Athens Bill of Rights Committee proposes new Ordinance regarding the protection of our water supply, specifically with regard to the effects of fracking and of the disposal of fracking wastewater in the city limits.

Below is (1) the official Summary. Please note that the new Ordinance avoids mention of any 20-mile buffer zone and hence is innocent of “legislative overreach” which seemed to have pulled down the last attempt.

Following is (2) the text of the ordinance, which you can also download as PDF Document “Petition for Ordinance Athens 5-14 Final” for your convenience. Continue reading

The Earthquake and the Dangers of Injection Wells – Part 2: The Inherent Dangers of Injection Wells

By Bernhard Debatin

In Part 1, we have seen that the knowledge about the seismic makeup of Athens County is rather limited and that the recent earthquake should be a wakeup call for citizens and regulators. Indeed, data from all over the country indicate that wastewater injection can induce earthquakes, including a recent 5.7 magnitude earthquake near Prague, Oklahoma, on November 5, 2011.

Similar to the supposedly dead Starr Fault in Athens Counts, the Oklahoma earthquake originated from the Wilzetta Fault that was believed to be dead, too. The recent accumulation of earthquakes in previously seismically inactive zones have worried scientists:  “These so-called ‘earthquake swarms’ are occurring in other places where the ground is not supposed to move. There have been abrupt upticks in both the size and frequency of quakes in Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, and Texas. Scientists investigating these anomalies are coming to the same conclusion: The quakes are linked to injection wells.” Continue reading

After Earthquake: Stop Injection Wells in Athens County Now!

Letter to ODNR

By Bernhard Debatin

Dear Director Zehringer and Chief Simmers,

I am respectfully submitting my comments and concerns regarding the K&H2 permit application in Athens County.

In accordance with Ohio Revised Code 1501:9-3-06 (C), I ask you to immediately suspend the permit process for the K&H well and initiate thorough seismic and other necessary studies before further considering permitting this injection well. Furthermore and in accordance with Ohio Revised Code 1501:9-3-06 (D), I ask you to suspend delivery of fracking waste fluids to the existing injection wells in Athens County until seismic studies have been concluded. I also ask you to take appropriate measures to seismically monitor the wells and to monitor potential waste water migration by drilling monitoring wells around the existing injection wells according to EPA standards. Continue reading

Public Hearing Request on New Injection Well Permit in Athens County

Athens County Commissioners and Statehouse Reps Request Public Hearing on Mega-injection Well Permit Application

by Athens County Fracking Action Network

Athens, OH Sept. 14, 2013 –– Athens County Commissioners, State Representative Debbie Phillips, and State Senator Lou Gentile were among more than one hundred letter writers requesting a public hearing on a new Athens County injection well permit application to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The Commissioners’ letter states, in part, “It appears to us that this is a seriously deficient application that will not prevent pollution of land, surface water and drinking water sources as required by Ohio Administrative Code 1501:9-3-04.” Continue reading

Economic Benefits and Risks of Fracking

Presentation given at the Watershed Summit in Athens, Ohio, on September 7, 2013

 

By Bernhard Debatin

When oil and gas industry, lobbyists, or politicians talk about fracking, they usually show us an economic wonderland. Fracking, we hear, does not only solve our energy problems, it also creates an economic boom of unheard of dimensions. And we hear it is clean, easy to recover, and has almost no negative side effects.

New technologies in oil and natural gas drilling do indeed make possible to extract huge amounts of non-conventional oil and gas from shale formations at a profitable rate, which is why fracking is celebrated as a “game changer” for the U.S. energy supply and the economic revival. Large areas in the U.S. have become the location of an ever-accelerating fracking boom. In addition to the Marcellus Formation, which covers most Appalachian states, such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York, fracking is also taking place at a large scale in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, North Dakota, Montana, Texas, and recently California. Continue reading

Injection Wells in Athens County — Rally on March 18

Athens County Fracking Action Network (www.acfan.org)

COMMUNITY ADVOCATES CALL ON US-EPA
TO TAKE AWAY OHIO’S AUTHORITY OVER INJECTION WELL PROGRAM

Athens community advocates will hold a rally in front of the Athens County Courthouse on  Monday, March 18, at noon calling on US-EPA to investigate Ohio’s management of injection well regulation and to take away Ohio’s authority to regulate the program.

“Ohio Department of Natural Resources is not doing its job,” stated Grace Hall, member of Athens County Fracking Action Network, the event’s sponsor. “ODNR 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.”

wells

Continue reading

The Trillion-Gallon Loophole: Lax Rules for Drillers that Inject Pollutants Into the Earth

by Abrahm Lustgarten
republished from
ProPublica, Sept. 20, 2012, 12:12 p.m.

Injection Wells
The Hidden Risks of Pumping Waste Underground

The remains of a tanker truck after an explosion ripped through an injection well site in a pasture outside of Rosharon, Texas, on Jan. 13, 2003, killing three workers. The fire occurred as two tanker trucks, including the one above, were unloading thousands of gallons of drilling wastewater. (Photo courtesy of the Chemical Safety Board)

On a cold, overcast afternoon in January 2003, two tanker trucks backed up to an injection well site in a pasture outside Rosharon, Texas. There, under a steel shed, they began to unload thousands of gallons of wastewater for burial deep beneath the earth.

The waste – the byproduct of oil and gas drilling – was described in regulatory documents as a benign mixture of salt and water. But as the liquid rushed from the trucks, it released a billowing vapor of far more volatile materials, including benzene and other flammable hydrocarbons. Continue reading

Athens County to be Fracked Through the Back Door?

By Bernhard Debatin

It started out quite hopefully for those in Athens County who own land and mineral rights and are not afraid of the potential side-effects of fracking: In November 2011, the West Virginia-based company Cunningham Energy hooked up with local lawyer John Lavelle and set off a fracking frenzy, promising $2500 per leased acre and 12.5% royalties for the oil or gas. On Jan 2, 2012, the Athens News reported that the overall acreage of the initial fracking leases amounted to about 35,000 acres, representing “a total possible initial payout of more than $87 million.”

But the payout did not come. However, now it looks as if fracking is going to come through the back door. What happened? Continue reading

Kudos to City Council for taking steps against local oil and gas development

By Alyssa Bernstein*

Athens City Council should be applauded for making efforts to protect the Athens wellhead zone (the area of the aquifer supplying our water) from possible contamination due to industrial activities such as unconventional fracking, especially given that no other governmental agency seems to be making such efforts. Continue reading