Category Archives: Security

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

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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

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

Fracking, Security, and Global Warming

We’re fracking our way to a warmer and less stable world

By Bob Sheak

Oil and gas corporations, their trade associations, mass media outlets like the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine, and numerous pundits continue to report there is a new day unfolding in the energy future of the U.S. Indeed, they sometimes say it’s a revolution in the making. It’s now feasible to mine hitherto unreachable or unprofitable sources of “unconventional” oil and gas. As a result, massive, environmentally devastating mining of tar sands in Canada expands, with a proposed and controversial pipeline to carry the partly processed oil from Alberto to Texas. Drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic, multiple off-shore locations drill ever-more deeply into the ocean floor and beneath it. As far as mining for shale gas and oil goes, the situation is described with words such as gushers, or bonanzas, or energy independence.

Continue reading