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
Posted in Cement Casing, Health, Injection Wells
Tagged air quality, Athens County, cement casing, chemicals, contaminants, drinking water, earthquake, infrastructure, ODNR, regulation, severance tax, wastewater, water monitoring
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
Posted in Cement Casing, Health, Injection Wells, Regulations, Security
Tagged Athens County, cement casing, contaminants, drinking water, ODNR, radioactivity, regulation, wastewater, water contamination, water monitoring
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
Posted in Cement Casing, Injection Wells, Regulations, Security, Water Monitoring
Tagged Athens County, cement casing, chemicals, contaminants, drinking water, ODNR, radioactivity, regulation, wastewater, water monitoring
Athens County Commissioners and Statehouse Reps Request Public Hearing on Mega-injection Well Permit Application
by Athens County Fracking Action Network
Athens, OH Sept. 14, 2013 –– Athens County Commissioners, State Representative Debbie Phillips, and State Senator Lou Gentile were among more than one hundred letter writers requesting a public hearing on a new Athens County injection well permit application to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The Commissioners’ letter states, in part, “It appears to us that this is a seriously deficient application that will not prevent pollution of land, surface water and drinking water sources as required by Ohio Administrative Code 1501:9-3-04.” Continue reading
Athens County Fracking Action Network (www.acfan.org)
COMMUNITY ADVOCATES CALL ON US-EPA
TO TAKE AWAY OHIO’S AUTHORITY OVER INJECTION WELL PROGRAM
Athens community advocates will hold a rally in front of the Athens County Courthouse on Monday, March 18, at noon calling on US-EPA to investigate Ohio’s management of injection well regulation and to take away Ohio’s authority to regulate the program.
“Ohio Department of Natural Resources is not doing its job,” stated Grace Hall, member of Athens County Fracking Action Network, the event’s sponsor. “ODNR should be protecting Ohioans from carcinogenic, radioactive frack waste. Instead, it allows waste injection wells to operate for years after they have failed serious safety inspections.”
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
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.