Tag Archives: ODNR

Athens County to become a County Charter?

To Prevent Fracking and Wastewater Injection, Athens County Shall Become a  Charter Government

By Bernhard Debatin

The Athens Bill of Rights Committee (BORC) has prepared a petition to turn Athens County into a charter government, to be voted on in the November election (full text see below). The charter form of government would give residents of Athens County a broader range of self-determination than the current form does. To be on the November ballot, 1440 signatures from voting-age Athens County residents are needed by June 24 (follow this link for a PDF of the Petition with a signature list).

In particular, the Charter would allow Athens County to prohibit the disposal of toxic fracking wastewater and also the extraction of water to be used for fracking. Under the current form of government, the State of Ohio, represented by the Oil and Gas Division of ODNR, permits and regulates fracking and wastewater injection.

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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

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

ODNR Injection Well Permit Appealed

Formal Complaint to USEPA Filed

By ACFAN

The Athens County Fracking Action Network (ACFAN) has filed a legal appeal of the K&H 2 injection well permit issued last month by Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Oil and Gas. The well would be the second on the property owned by K&H Partners of West Virginia, in Troy Township, Athens County, and would dispose of 168,000 gallons or more of frack waste per day. The appeal is the first of an ODNR injection well permit filed in over twenty years. 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

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