Category Archives: Health

Why the new K&H #3 Injection Well is Wrong

By Bernhard Debatin

ODNR NEEDS TO CONDUCT A PUBLIC HEARING

As documented by Acfan, a permit application for the new K&H 3 injection well at the existing K&H facility is currently pending. This would make the K&H facility the largest such operation in Ohio. Over the past years, Ohio has become a major importer of fracking wastewater from other states, due to its low taxation rates and lax regulations. Injection wells in Ohio are not monitored by the (more stringent) federal EPA, but by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Oil and Gas Resources, which has laxer regulations and less oversight. Coincidentally, ODNR also profits from the wastewater dumping, as it rakes in the fees for it. Continue reading

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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

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

New Injection Well Permit in Athens County?

Demand for Public Hearing

Press Release by the Athens (OH) County Fracking Action Network, acfan.org Sept. 12, 2012

A public notice for an Athens County injection well permit application for the Atha well on Rte. 144 near Frost, OH, has been posted.  Citizens have until Sept. 28 to send in comments and concerns about the application to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (oilandgas@dnr.state.oh.us, include reference: Permit # 3761 and application # aAMY0000706). 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

Meeting on Fracking

Nelsonville Community Meeting on Hydraulic Fracturing
When
:   May 26, 2012, 1 – 3 p.m.
Where
: Nelsonville Public Library, Large meeting room 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