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
Posted in Cement Casing, Injection Wells, Regulations, Security, Water Monitoring
Tagged Athens County, cement casing, chemicals, contaminants, drinking water, ODNR, radioactivity, regulation, wastewater, water monitoring
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
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
Posted in Community Disruption, Fracking Boom, Global Warming, Injection Wells, Regulations, Uncategorized
Tagged chemicals, contaminants, externalization, Haliburton Loophole, infrastructure, radioactivity, regulation, wastewater
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.”
by Abrahm Lustgarten
ProPublica, Sept. 20, 2012, 12:12 p.m.
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
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
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
A Response to Robert W. Chase’s article “Five Myths About ‘Fracking’” in the Akron Beacon Journal, Jan 26, 2012
Part 2: Five Fracking Myths Revisited — Illusion and Reality of the Fracking Industry
By Bernhard Debatin
As we have seen in Part 1: Unquestioned assumptions about Shale Gas Extraction, Robert Chase, who recently appeared on a local WOUB Newswatch show on fracking, starts his professed debunking of fracking myths with an introduction that heavily relies on the unquestioned and unsubstantiated mythology of “more than 100 years’ worth inexpensive, environmentally attractive energy.”
How bad the situation actually is — overestimated recoverable gas resources, a financial Ponzi scheme, and an environmentally devastating record of the fracking industry — has recently been reported in an in-depth article by Jeff Goodell, author of Big Coal, that was published in the March 1, 2012, edition of the Rolling Stone. The piece, titled The Big Fracking Bubble: The Scam Behind the Gas Boom also uncovers the autocratic rule and political entanglements of Chesapeake CEO A. McClendon, whom Goodell calls an “influential right-wing power broker” like the “Tea Party-financing Koch brothers.” Incidentally, this makes Chesapeake’s $26 million donation to and its acceptance by the Sierra Club even more despicable.
This coming Thursday, the Athens County Commissioners are likely to vote on a resolution about fracking. The meeting will take place on Feb. 9., 9:30 a.m., in the Athens County Courthouse’s Annex, second floor.
You can express your views in advance by contacting the commissioners:
A Confirmation and a Correction
By Bernhard Debatin
Correction of our claim made in earlier post "Submit Your Protest Against Relaxation Of Fracking Rules!"
Responding to the letter campaign to ODNR, Heidi Hetzel-Evans of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, stated today that the amendments and changes to the oil and gas regulations in the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 1501:9 are a mere “house keeping” exercise to keep up with changes in the law. She also said that “we’re definitely strengthening the rules, not reducing or relaxing them.”
However, while the new oil and gas regulations in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 1509 do indeed have some provisions that strengthen regulation, there are many areas where things remain unregulated, or worse, as criticized in this blog, actually loosen or rescind previous rules. Continue reading