Category Archives: Community Disruption

ODNR Issues Permit for K&H 3 Injection Well Without Considering Concerns

A Story of Lies and Willful Ignorance

By Bernhard Debatin

According to a report in the Athens News from March 25, 2015, ODNR has permitted the third K&H injection well, located at the K&H facility near Torch in the Southeast of Athens County. Continue reading

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Don’t let fracking waste be shipped on our waterways!

A letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the permit application for a barge unloading and pipeline facility in Meigs County, Ohio

Context:

The proposal by GreenHunter, a Texas-based frackwaste company, is to build a barge off-loading facility on the Ohio River in Portland, Meigs County. The dock would unload as much as 1 million barrels, or 42 million gallons of frack waste at once. After storage in aboveground tanks, the waste will be trucked to injection wells around the region. Barging of liquid frack waste has not been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, which received as many as 60,000 public comments opposing the proposal.

The dock proposal has not been given official notice in state or local media. The online notice posted by the Corps June 27 specifies that public comments must be hard copies and received at the Corps’ Huntington office by July 28, which has, due to over 340 comments submitted, been extended to Aug. 24. Also, a subsequent verbal and written statement by Teresa Spagna, Project Manager with the Corps, assures us that E-MAIL COMMENTS ARE ACCEPTABLE.
(from: Acfan.org)

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Feel free to copy this letter and email it to the address below!
COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED TO Aug. 24
Please visit Acfan.org for additional information.
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The Ethics of Fracking

By Bernhard Debatin

As controversial as it is, fracking is not often discussed in terms of its ethics. The 37 minute-long video The Ethics of Fracking, by the Scott Cannon and the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition, provides a good discussion of the various ethical issues of fracking. It shows that fracking leads to a number of ethical problems and serious side-effects, ranging from the contamination of drinking water, to air and noise pollution, to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and to disrupting communities and creating long-term risks and costs for our society.

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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

Who Poisons Whom With Chemicals?

By Bernhard Debatin

The Boston bombing and other such horrible events have shown that preparedness for domestic terrorism is a necessity. Therefore, one might think it wouldn’t be that bad if “Area officials undergo training to combat terroristic events,” as the Athens Messenger titled on December 11, 2013.

However, the choice of the simulated event, “a fake anti-fracking extremist group that was planning on launching a chemical attack on Ohio University’s Convocation Center” and that was running a “mock bioterrorism lab,” shows a cynical lack of judgment by the involved authorities. Such thoughtless scenario vilifies the anti-fracking movement as a whole and identifies it casually with terrorism, while it is in fact a non-violent and broad coalition of concerned citizens. Continue reading

The Earthquake and the Dangers of Injection Wells – Part 1: Geological Uncertainties

By Bernhard Debatin

Note: This is an extended version of an article that was published in the Athens News (online on Nov. 27, 2013)

In a moment of unparalleled irony, an earthquake struck Athens County southeast of Nelsonville on November 20, just a day after citizen of the area gathered at the Athens Community Center to voice their concerns about injection wells in Athens County. While the earthquake should give reason to pause, ODNR spokesperson Mike Bruce was quick to assert that this was “a natural earthquake” and that “there’s no way this was man-made.” (Athens News, November 25, 2013). The Youngstown shockwaves can still be felt in this attempt to separate this seismic event from the injection of large amounts of toxic fracking fluids into the underground. 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