Tag Archives: cement casing

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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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.

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

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

The Trillion-Gallon Loophole: Lax Rules for Drillers that Inject Pollutants Into the Earth

by Abrahm Lustgarten
republished from
ProPublica, Sept. 20, 2012, 12:12 p.m.

Injection Wells
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

The Shale Gas Myth — Part 2: Five Fracking Myths Revisited

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.

Continue reading

Submit Your Protest Against Relaxation Of Fracking Rules!

Send your letter to to minerals@dnr.state.oh.us by Dec. 23

By Bernhard Debatin

As detailed in the previous post, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is calling for comments on proposed changes to the regulations about fracking. If implemented, the changes will make things considerably easier for the fracking industry without sufficient regard for people’s health, safety, and well-being, and without sufficient protection of the environment.

Here are the four three most serious changes in the draft document for the amendments to the Ohio Administrative Code:

Unconventional disposal (dumping) of wastewater In Wetzel County, WV

1. Wastewater Disposal. Fracking companies no longer need to declare how, where, and with whom they’ll dispose their wastewater. This means that there’s no sufficient oversight by ODNR; there isn’t any closed and monitored chain of accountability between the production of the wastewater and its disposal. Continue reading