Category Archives: Water Monitoring

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


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

New Injection Well Permit in Athens County?

Demand for Public Hearing

Press Release by the Athens (OH) County Fracking Action Network, 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 (, include reference: Permit # 3761 and application # aAMY0000706). Continue reading

New Study Predicts Frack Fluids Can Migrate to Aquifers Within Years

A new study has raised fresh concerns about the safety of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, concluding that fracking chemicals injected into the ground could migrate toward drinking water supplies far more quickly than experts have previously predicted.

More than 5,000 wells were drilled in the Marcellus between mid-2009 and mid-2010, according to the study, which was published in the journal Ground Water two weeks ago. Operators inject up to 4 million gallons of fluid, under more than 10,000 pounds of pressure, to drill and frack each well.

Continue reading

Ohio University Environmental Studies Board Members Approve Resolution on Fracking

Environmental Studies Advisory Board

Resolution on Hydraulic Fracturing at Ohio University

The undersigned members of the Environmental Studies Advisory Board approved the following resolution:

As the fracking boom is reaching Southeast Ohio, it is important to remember that our region has experienced short-lived boom-to-bust resource extraction before. The coal boom of the late 19th and early 20th century left Southeast Ohio in a state of environmental degradation and deforestation. The economic benefits went one-sidedly to a few corporations and individuals, while the population remained impoverished and the environment degraded. Poverty, like the environmental impacts, extends to the present day with Athens County posting the highest poverty rate in the state at 32.8 percent.[i]

Continue reading

New Study: Severe Health Impact of Fracking

By Bernhard Debatin

A new study on the Impacts of Gas Drilling on Human and Animal Health (*) shows that fracking fluids, methane gas exposure, and other gas-drilling related contamination can have a serious impact on the health of both humans and animals. The study, conducted by private practice veterinarian Michelle Bamberger and Robert E. Oswald of the Department of Molecular Medicine at Cornell University, investigated 24 different sites with gas wells, 18 of which were horizontal hydro-fractured wells. The researchers observed and documented severe changes in health of both humans and animals living close to these sites. The majority of the observed animals were cows; other animals included horses, goats, llamas, chickens, dogs, cats, and koi.

Bamberger and Oswald interviewed animal owners affected by gas drilling in six different states (Colorado, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas). In addition, they obtained lab test results and data from drilling companies and state regulatory agencies. The most striking finding of the study is the death of over 100 cows, caused by their exposure to fracking fluids or drinking of fracking wastewater that was dumped or leaked into freshwater sources. Continue reading

Concerned About Fracking? — Part 2: Water Monitoring

What can We Do about this?

By Bernhard Debatin

Fracking is likely to happen in Athens County due to strong economic interests, and with it comes a wide variety of undesirable and unintended consequences. Therefore, the focus of concerned citizens’ activities should be on effective damage control strategies. This part of Concerned About Fracking? will deal with the first of three main damage control strategies: (1) monitoring drinking water. The other two strategies are (2) monitoring community disruption and (3) a moratorium on fracking; they will be explored in the third part of this series.

Obviously, the risk of being affected by accidents and contamination increases the closer one is located to a drilling site. However, water and air pollution travel fast and widely. For instance, it’s not just the landowner’s water well that may get polluted. Aquifers are interconnected underground water systems, usually located in permeable and porous rock through which water can easily move. There’s a good chance that contamination of a water well near a drilling pad may spread through the larger aquifer system.

The most pressing issue is proper monitoring of drinking water sources. Because of the lack of accountability and effective regulation, we have to be seriously concerned that private and municipal water sources will be contaminated. The fracking industry’s track record of wastewater spills, sludge pond overflows, reckless wastewater dumping, and aquifer contamination with fracking chemicals and methane is impressive. Continue reading