ACFAN appeals K&H#3 Injection Well Permit

ACFAN appeals K&H#3 Injection Well Permit

Athens, OH, April 14, 2015 –– Athens County Fracking Action Network has appealed the recent permitting of another injection well in Torch, Ohio, owned by Jeff Harper of West Virginia. The latest Athens County frack waste injection well, the K&H #3, was permitted last month by Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

According to the notice of appeal, “This appeal is brought pursuant to O.R.C. §1509.36 and Ohio Adm. Code §§1509-1-09 and 1509-1-11. The Chief’s issuance of the injection well permit for Well Number 34-009-2-3824-00-00 was unreasonable and unlawful for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, the following…: 1) The Chief unlawfully and unreasonably approved the permit in light of information known to him from the two other K&H injection disposal wells located on the same tract of land as Well Number 34-009-2-3824-00-00 that the geologic strata where the wastes would be injected for disposal did not adequately confine the wastes, thereby failing to demonstrate that the well would not result in an adverse effect on human health and/or contamination to ground water protected by R.C. Chapter 1509 and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. 2) The Chief unlawfully and unreasonably approved the permit by requiring that the injection well’s protective casing extend only to an inadequate depth of approximately half of the 4,200 foot deep borehole, thereby insufficiently confining the waste, which fails to demonstrate that the well would not result in an adverse effect on human health and/or contamination to ground water protected by R.C. Chapter 1509 and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. 3) The Chief unlawfully and unreasonably approved the permit based upon the requirements of guidance documents and ‘standard operating procedures’ which constitute ‘rules’ under ORC Chapter 119 but which are unlawful due to the Chief’s failure to adopt them in compliance with the legally required safeguards for rulemaking under Ohio law. 4) The Chief unlawfully and unreasonably approved the permit in a manner that does not protect underground sources of drinking water in violation of federal and state requirements governing the injection of oil and gas waste liquids.” The notice concludes with a statement of the requested remedy that the Oil and Gas Commission “find that the action of the Chief in issuing the well permit to Well Number 34-009-2-3824-00-00 was unlawful and unreasonable and that the permit should therefore be vacated and this matter remanded to the Chief for further action as required by law and for such other relief as appropriate and just.”

In spite of hundreds of articulate and informed voices speaking out, including those of our County Commissioners and other elected representatives, Gov. Kasich allowed his appointees at ODNR to approve the third K&H Partners’ toxic radioactive frackwaste injection well in Athens County. This approval process subverted the law and ignored democratic principles. Our safety and security are at risk from this rogue state agency and the governor, who is in charge of it, and from the real and present threat this and other wells for injection of massive amounts of toxic and radioactive fracking waste pose to our drinking and agricultural water supply.

Our appeal of K&H#2 is pending in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, where ACFAN is currently fighting for Ohio citizens’ right to appeal injection well permits.

The Ohio Supreme Court has affirmed that Ohio citizens have the right to appeal an injection well permit. We are now awaiting affirmation by Franklin County Court of Common Pleas of this right, countering ONDR’s claim, made in response to ACFAN’s lawsuit, that the Ohio court’s reference was to a “2nd permit.” ODNR instigated this so-called “2nd permit” after the Ohio Supreme Court ruling and after ACFAN filed against K&H2. This “2nd permit,” which ODNR claims is appealable, is meaningless: It is issued after construction of the well and is based only on a pressure test.  In addition, there is no provision in the statute or regulations that require public notice or an opportunity for public hearing before issuance of this so-called “2nd permit.” Nor has public notice been provided on any “2nd permit” by ODNR.  See acfan.org injection well page for legal documents in the K&H#2 appeal.

Call the Governor’s office today: Grant a public hearing now!

Calls to Gov. Kasich still encouraged. Please say it is GOVERNOR KASICH’S RESPONSIBILITY to require ODNR grant a public hearing. ODNR will not do it without the Governor stepping in.

PLEASE CALL THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE TODAY!

Our local officials have been notified by ODNR that no hearing is necessary on the K&H3 well permit application. THIS IS AGAINST OHIO LAW and the PUBLIC INTEREST.

ASK GOV. KASICH TO REQUIRE THAT ODNR GRANT A PUBLIC HEARING IN ATHENS NOW!

phone: 614-466-3555

Please e-mail Roxanne at roxannegroff1227 AT gmail.com to let us know you’ve called and what response you got.

You may wish to use some of the following in support of your position:

“I am calling with great concern that ODNR will not grant a public hearing on the permit application for the K&H injection well in Torch Ohio, Athens County. I am one of hundreds of concerned citizens who want the governor to tell the Director and Oil and Gas Chief that they must have a public hearing according to Ohio law.

Ohio Administrative Code rule 1501.9.3 states that if any substantive objection is “relevant to the issues of public health or safety, or to good conservation practices” a hearing shall be called, by the chief, within thirty days of receipt of the objection.” Our concerns are substantive and relevant.

The Governor is the only person who can make the Director and the Oil and Gas Chief allow this hearing to happen in Athens, as citizens and our local public officials have repeatedly requested. It is the governor’s DUTY to make his appointees follow state law.

With the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision last week that Ohio oil and gas interests trump local zoning control (Munroe Falls case decision), our highest elected state official must require that the state protect citizens, because the power of local governments to protect their communities is being stripped by the state. Mr. Kasich must rein in this rogue agency that is putting our communities and health at risk. We’re counting on the governor to make his appointees grant a public hearing as public safety and the law require.

I wish to be informed as to when the hearing will be scheduled. Thank you.” phone: 614-466-3555

Please share post at acfan’s facebook page. No deadline. Let’s keep calling!

Please let us know if you get through:
roxannegroff1227@gmail.com

PLEASE CALL THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE TODAY! 614-466-3555: DEMAND THAT ODNR HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE K&H3 PERMIT IN ATHENS NOW!

See Athens News coverage and previous ACFAN post on K&H3 application and public outcry, expressed in 198 submitted comments and the Dec. 29 Athens County Commissioners’ public meeting.

See ODNR Director Zehringer letter to Rep Debbie Phillips and Sen. Lou Gentile stating no public hearing is necessary.

See ohio.com/news/break-news/drilling-ordinance-in-munroe-falls-conflicts-with-state-law-ohio-supreme-court-rules-1.567518

 

ODNR and Jeff Harper can’t silence Athens County!

Updates on the Dec. 30 meeting and the 198 comments submitted on the K&H3 injection well proposal and more:

Complete coverage of ACFAN press release on the 198 comments opposing the K&H3 injection well application: AthensNews.com.

A few of the excellent comments are posted here: Bernhard Debatin: K&H3 comments, Roxanne Groff’s, and Athens Conservancy’s. 1-22-15

Great coverage of Athens County Commissioners’ December 30 meeting on the K&H3 injection well permit application. The meeting was the result of ACFAN’s request to the Commissioners to host a public meeting, given the timing of the public comment period over the holidays. At least 120 people attended the meeting. Dozens spoke, all opposed to the well. An audio recording of the meeting was submitted by the Commissioners to ODNR along with their own comments and those of citizens who requested the Commissioners report their opposition to the well.

Athens Messenger announces well. Permit (incomplete) application link here. Note that the permit application in the Messenger article is incomplete, omitting the Supplement page that lists 12,000 barrels as the “maximum” to be dumped daily. Even this is not a fixed amount and can be exceeded.

Model K&H3 comments 

E-mail: acfanohio@gmail.com to request the more complete application with supplement page.

 

Citing health risks, New York bans high-volume shale fracking

HUGE NEWS!

In a historic victory for environmental activists, NY Governor Cuomo has said he will bar high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in New York State. This decision means that New York’s shale gas reserves are likely to remain in the ground for the foreseeable future.

Before announcing his decision, the governor called on Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens and Department of Health Acting Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to report their findings. Commissioner Martens said that fracking could have major impacts on air quality, water resources and communities, while Dr. Zucker reported that his department’s two-year review found that the process could pose “serious health risks.” He concluded that he wouldn’t want to live in a community where fracking takes place, and wouldn’t let his child play in a school field nearby.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE DECISION

New York’s Department of Health didn’t conduct original research of its own; instead it reviewed the existing literature in the field. Yesterday it released its findings in this 176-page report. PSE Healthy Energy also surveyedthe more than four hundred peer-reviewed scientific studies that consider the impacts of unconventional oil and gas extraction on air quality, water quality, and human health. While there are still significant data gaps, the emerging trend is unmistakable. In every area, the preponderance of scientific studies point to either significant risks or to adverse impacts associated with fracking.

New York Times breaking story

Ecowatch coverage

Food and Water Watch Director, Wenonah Hauter, on the implications for the rest of the country

Athens County participates in national study, released 10-30-14

Warning Signs: Toxic Air Pollution Identified and Oil and Gas Sites: Community air monitoring reveals chemicals linked to health hazards

The recent U.S. oil and gas boom has transformed hundreds of communities across the country—from rural areas and small towns to suburbs and cities—into industrial production zones.  Oil and gas companies are using unconventional techniques such as hydraulic fracturing—known known as “fracking”—to extract deposits wherever they can be reached, even if those places are in the backyards of homes, near schools or places of worship, or on farmland.  Oil and gas production uses hundreds of toxic chemicals that are emitted directly or escape into the air, exposing residents, workers and animals.

In 2012, twelve community groups in 6 states (Arkansas, Colorado, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wyoming), with support from a team of national organizations and experts, decided to test the air near oil and gas development sites located in their communities.

A new report from Coming Clean and Global Community Monitor, titled Warning Signs: Toxic Air Pollution Identified and Oil and Gas Sites, provides results from community air monitoring in those states near oil and gas development sites, including where hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” activities or waste disposal are taking place.  Results show a wide range of hazardous chemicals are present in the air at levels above federal health and safety standards. In some cases, monitors revealed concentrations of hazardous chemicals high enough to pose an immediate health threat to people.

 Community members were trained to collect air samples using equipment and methods certified by federal agencies.  They collected air samples when they personally observed activity at the sites or when they suffered symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or breathing problems.

Although the monitoring data does not conclusively prove a link between specific chemicals and the health symptoms reported by community residents, the stark findings are enough to warrant a precautionary approach to regulation of oil and gas activities.  We must act on these warning signs to place greater emphasis on avoiding health hazards for all people living and working in drilling and production areas.  

Read the National News Release

Read Warning Signs Athens 10-30-14

Download the full report (4.6 MB PDF)

Read the peer-reviewed journal article in Environmental Health

Download the peer-reviewed journal article (870 KB PDF)

DeSmogBlog covers Arkansas part of the story

more… 

Citizens Urged to Tell U.S. Army Corps: “Count our letters!”

Press release also published at ohio.com

Over four thousand citizens from the Ohio River basin filed protests of Texas-based GreenHunter’s frackwaste barge dock facility permit application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last month. Because more than 3000 letters were sent through an alert by Food and Water Watch (FWW), the Corps is acknowledging fewer than 1000. Athens County Fracking Action Network (ACFAN) encourages writers who used the FWW tool to e-mail Teresa Spagna of the Corps directly at teresa.d.spagna@usace.army.mil to request that their earlier comments be counted. Sending from your own e-mail account seems to be what the Corps requires to count your letter. Please send a short e-mail to Ms. Spagna requesting your earlier comment be counted. Ms. Spagna has told us that comments will be accepted until a decision is made. She has also stated that the Corps has no deadline for a decision.

Citizens and public officials are concerned because the facility would permit offloading and aboveground storage of over one hundred million gallons of frackwaste shipped from the Gulf Coast as well as down the Ohio River. The 981 miles of the Ohio River provide drinking water to over 3 million people. Ten percent of the country lives in the Ohio River Basin. Why would the Corps even consider approving this project when the chemical makeup of radioactive frack waste is a guarded secret?  Look at ongoing impacts of poisoned water on the cities of Charleston and Toledo and of C8, which after years is still poisoning the very region where this dock is proposed.

ACFAN and a coalition of concerned residents of West Virginia, Illinois, and Ohio have been working to alert the public and encourage letters of protest, joined by Athens County Commissioners and Athens City Council. The calls resulted in an extension of the original July comment period to Aug. 24.

One Meigs County resident’s letter highlighted past promises of prosperity. John Stock wrote, “Meigs County Ohio was once a thriving agricultural leader with many cow dairies and sheep farms. The promise of even more riches arrived with the coal companies who in less than 50 years destroyed the water, soil, and air of this previously fertile land. They took the money and left the county high and dry to deal with the environmental devastation that was high wall coal mining.  Fast forward to 2014: Pomeroy and Middleport have still not recovered,..

“Even with this historical handicap, Meigs County is trying to claw its way out of our social and environmental hole. An on-farm dairy processing plant which relies on water from well fields along the Ohio River is one of the largest employers in the county; the Green Corridor in Rutland Township is a thriving community of farmers, artists, craftsmen, teachers, herbalists, social workers, and more who protect a contiguous area of thousands of acres of land; Pomeroy, Harrisonville, and points in between have established themselves as destinations for seeing and playing The Blues. All of these people have a different plan for the future of Meigs County other than more environmental degradation. What is the economic carrot that GreenHunter is dangling this time? Jobs? Tax revenue? Who honestly believes that this toxic barge dock will do anything more than threaten the health and safety of our community once again?”

Stock and other writers cited the June 2014 Monroe County frackpad explosion and weeklong fire, in which a tributary of the Ohio River was so contaminated that at least 70,000 fish died, according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources. A USEPA report on the fire states that at least one chemical involved in the fire cannot be tracked due to lack of testing protocols.
“Downstream drinking water supply officials cannot even track this chemical,” noted Donna Carver, Buckeye Forest Council interim director. “How can they protect citizens who rely on the Ohio [River] for drinking water? This situation can occur only because this industry is exempt from federal drinking water laws that govern all other hazardous chemical industries. This must change,” she concluded.
U.S. Army Corps regulations state, “The benefit that reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.” Stock’s letter concludes, “The project has no benefits to the region. Its reasonably foreseeable detriments are of great public consequence and must be considered in a public hearing and an EIS [environmental impact statement]. I look forward to notice from you of further opportunities for public comment and public hearings in communities that would be affected by this proposal.”

 

Attorney Terry Lodge sent a letter to Spagna on Monday 9-15-14, endorsed by twenty groups from Ohio, West Virginia, and Illinois as well as national groups, expanding on this appeal: “We request that you please advise what NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] document the Corps is preparing…Without being informed of the determination the Corps has obviously made concerning NEPA, the public has not been timely informed and NEPA’s aim of maximizing informed public advice has not been met. We further request to know what the anticipated timeline is for production of the NEPA document, and whether it will be circulated for public comment.”

 

Lodge’s letter concludes with a warning, “Approval of GreenHunter’s permit without disclosing the nature of the material to be delivered to the dock while issuing a NEPA finding only at the end of the process brings into serious question the Corps’ objectivity.  We will consider a lack of response to these requests for information after October 10, 2014 as a sign that the Corps does not intend to address its NEPA responsibilities in a public and transparent way.”

 

New research shows double digit methane leakage from fracking visible from space

Remote sensing of fugitive methane emissions from oil and gas production in North American tight geologic formations 

The new research concludes: “[E]mission estimates correspond to leakages of 10.1?±?7.3?% and 9.1?±?6.2?% in terms of energy content, calling immediate climate benefit into question and indicating that current inventories likely underestimate fugitive emissions from Bakken and Eagle Ford” shale formations.

We WON a bargedock comment extension! — please send additional comments (even if you sent some in the first round) by Aug. 24. They can be sent electronically.

Yea!! The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers quietly extended the comment period on the GreenHunter bargedock proposal to Aug. 24. We won!! It was our 340 comments that did it. THANKS TO ALL WHO WROTE!…Now we ask you, please, to send additional comments with more detail and more specificity, even if you already sent in comments. MODEL COMMENTS HERE; abbreviated version HERE. COMMENTS CAN BE SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY.

The Corps’ guidance is specific — the more specific and detailed the comments, the more they will be considered in the decision to authorize an Environmental Impact Statement, which we need for further public input and TIME so this disaster doesn’t get permitted.

We’ve posted some lengthy model comments HERE. Guidance material is included. Feel free to e-mail acfanohio AT gmail.com for a Word doc version to make it easier to copy and paste. Use as much or as little or use as a model for your own.

Feel free to use the abbreviated version below (pdf HERE).

Be sure to include LRH-2013-848-OHR in your subject line. Comments due by Aug. 24.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

ATTN: CELRH-RD-N

Public Notice No. LRH-2013-848-OHR

502 Eighth Street, Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070

Via email to Teresa Spagna, teresa.d.spagna@usace.army.mil

RE: Comments on Sect. 10 Permit Application #LRH-2013-848-OHR (GreenHunter Meigs County Docking Facility)

Dear Ms. Spagna:

I hereby submit my comments in strong and informed opposition to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issuance of a permit to GreenHunter Water, LLC for construction and operation of a barge unloading and pipeline facility in Meigs County, Ohio, to deliver “bulk liquids” generated by hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) operations to upland facilities.

I request a public hearing and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on this matter, owing to its significant, likely or even certain and largely irremediable impacts, especially on public water supplies, water conservation, and air and water quality as well as on public safety and the needs and welfare of the people throughout the eleven-state region who would all be affected by impacts of the project. The unloading and storage of vast quantities of highly hazardous, highly flammable, explosive, toxic radioactive chemicals[1] on the Ohio River are a matter of extreme public interest. In addition to chemicals used in the drilling and fracking process, mercury and other heavy metals, high salinity (chloride at up to 196,000 mg/l), radioactivity (for example, EPA reports liquid Marcellus Shale waste to contain radium 226 at concentrations of up to 16,030 pCi/l; the MCl is 5 pCi/L), and hydrocarbons are at significant levels in frackwaste.[2].

More than 3 million people rely on drinking water supplies downstream of this project. Vast volumes of unidentified and unidentifiable mixtures of highly toxic, radioactive material would likely cause untold and irremediable catastrophe from barge accidents, explosions during off-loading, leaks and spills, which are increasingly common. Spills, leaks, explosions and fires are occurring with increasing frequency at frack chemical and frackwaste transfer sites. They are therefore likely occurrences if this project were to be permitted. Chemical mixtures in the recent week-long Monroe County frackpad fire included chemicals for which testing protocols are not even developed. How can downstream water suppliers know whether these chemicals are in their systems if there are no testing protocols yet available? How can firefighters know how to handle emergencies? The C-8, Elk River, Toledo, and Opossum Creek 70,000 fishkill disasters are all ongoing disasters that would be dwarfed by the scale of disaster that could occur at this facility.

The project has no benefits to the region. Its reasonably foreseeable detriments are of great public consequence and must be considered in a public hearing and an EIS.

I look forward to notice from you of further opportunities for public comment and public hearings in communities that would be affected by this proposal.

NAME

COUNTY and STATE

Footnotes:

[1] See for example U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Minority Staff, Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing (April 2011), identifying 750 chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, including 29 chemicals that are known carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, or listed as Hazardous Air Pollutants; US General Accountability Office, Information on the Quantity, Quality, and Management of Water Produced During Oil and Gas Production, GAO-12-56, January 2012; PADEP “Permitting Strategy for High Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Wastewater Discharges,” April 11, 2009; Warner, N.R. et al, , Impacts of Shale Gas Wastewater Disposal on Water Quality in Western Pennsylvania?, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2013(47):11849–11857 (pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es402165b)

[2] New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas, and Solution Mining Regulatory Program, Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing to Develop the Marcellus Shale and other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs, September 2011, Table 5.9; Appendix 13; Marvin Resnikoff, Ph.D., Radioactive Waste Management Associates, “Comments on Marcellus Shale Development”, October 2011; USEPA letter from Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator to The Honorable Michael Krancer, Acting Secretary, PADEP, 3.7.11; US General Accountability Office,Information on the Quantity, Quality, and Management of Water Produced During Oil and Gas Production, GAO-12-56, January 2012.

pdf here: abbreviated version and of longer model comments here.

Multi-state coalition press release published by Akron Beacon Journal at ohio.com. 8-11-14

Athens City Council and Mayor oppose dock proposal: Athens Messenger 7-22-14

 

URGENT: E-mail Army Corps TODAY re proposed frackwaste barge dock in Meigs County!

UPDATE: COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED TO Aug. 24.  Model comments HERE and abbreviated ones here. Feel free to use! Or write acfanohio AT gmail.com for copy in Word.

Updated blog post here.

Please tell the US Army Corps of Engineers NO!! to a frackwaste barge dock on the Ohio River in Meigs County!

Send comments to Project Manager Teresa Spagna (teresa.d.spagna@usace.army.milto object to a permit for Texas frackwaste company GreenHunter for a frackwaste barge dock on the Ohio River in Meigs County, Ohio.Include RE: LRH 2013-848-OHR in the e-mail subject line. Please include your county and state of residence. 

SAMPLE E-MAIL or use these model comments for more detail and citations!
1. I object to this dangerous proposal, which threatens the drinking water of millions who rely on Ohio River drinking water, with millions of gallons of hazardous, radioactive frackwastes that will be unloaded and stored at this site daily and then shipped by truck to be dumped throughout the region.
2. The public notice and comment period were inadequate and illegal. The public notice must be re-done with adequate notice of electronic submission options, proper local media notice throughout communities in the region, and a new and longer comment period provided to allow the public throughout the eleven-state affected region adequate time to learn about and comment knowledgeably on this potentially devastating project. 
3. There must be an Environmental Impact Statement that the public can see and comment on before further consideration of this massive and significant federal project. Expected and unexpected potential impacts on air and water, including climate change, must be evaluated and made public.
4. This proposal warrants public hearings with proper public notice throughout the eleven adjacent and downstream states that will be directly impacted by this project.
5. The proposal should be pulled for as long as barging on the Ohio River is not legal. This proposal’s consideration at this time will bias the U.S. Coast Guard decision on approval of barging liquid frack waste.
Sincerely,
NAME
COUNTY and STATE of residence

See also attorney Terry Lodge’s comments to Corps with extensive legal arguments and endorsing organizations, submitted 7-28-14.

Army Corps notice at: 
Thanks to all commenters. Keep them coming! And feel free to send ADDITIONAL comments with more detail, even if you sent comments in last month.

Background and talking points:

The proposal by GreenHunter, a Texas-based frackwaste company, is to build a barge off-loading facility on the Ohio River in Portland, Meigs County. The dock would unload as much as 1 million barrels, or 42 million gallons of frack waste at once. After storage in aboveground tanks, the waste will be trucked to injection wells around the region. Barging of liquid frack waste has not been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, which received as many as 60,000 public comments opposing the proposal.

The dock proposal has not been given official notice in state or local media. The online notice posted by the Corps June 27 specifies that public comments must be hard copies and received at the Corps’ Huntington office by July 28, which has, due to over 340 comments submitted, been extended to Aug. 24. Also, a subsequent verbal and written statement by Teresa Spagna, Project Manager with the Corps, assures us that E-MAIL COMMENTS ARE ACCEPTABLE.

Ohio has experienced TWO fracking explosions and fires this summer, one in Monroe County in which twenty fracking trucks burned for a week and which led to a “significant fishkill,” according to ODNR, and another in which a frackwaste truck at Envirotank’s Belpre facility exploded and burned three men. One remained in critical condition as of July 3. Both explosions involved transfers of hydrocarbon-laden frack liquids. Imagine an explosion from abarge carrying a half-million gallons of frackwaste at a site that is storing hundreds of thousands of gallons of this toxic radioactive waste. What would a spark igniting an off-loading bargeful with a half-million gallons of flammable frackwaste do to the riverside and downstream communities and the 5 million people who drink this water? 

This proposal affects all Ohioans and the region — it would open the floodgates to GreenHunter and other corporations that have no stake in Ohioans’ health and communities. Has ODNR ever said ‘no’ to an injection well permit? NO! (Ohio permits injection well in days, compared to states under USEPA permitting requirements, which can take years to permit. )

Please e-mail Corps Project Manager Teresa Spagna (teresa.d.spagna@usace.army.mil) to object to the proposal, request an extension of the comment period to October 31, and ask the Corps to hold a public hearing. Comments are due Aug. 24. 

RE: LRH 2013-848-OHR must be included in the e-mail subject line.

Extensive model comments with citations here.  Or feel free to use the following TALKING POINTS for your comments.

1. Since the Coast Guard has not ruled on the transporting of liquid frack waste on the Ohio River, such barge traffic on the river is illegal at this time. Preparing a huge transport terminal creates bias and affects the Coast Guard’s decision.

2. No Environmental Impact Assessment or Statement has been conducted by a nonbiased third party group. [Green Hunter itself has “retained the services of a malacologist to conduct a mussel survey (5 species are endangered)” –in other words, the corporation is paying for its own study of mussels only, the results of which will thus be influenced by the corporation.] The Army Corps of Engineers should order a complete EIS (Environmental Impacts Statement). The safety of the public and the environment requires knowledge of the extent to which the barge dock and its use by frack waste-transporting tanker barges will endanger the entire Ohio River system.  The EIS, by law, should concentrate on the key issues of the environment, public health, social impacts, and potential for long-term and/or catastrophic contamination to one of the nation’s greatest river resources.  The EIS should consider all relevant information with professionalism, rigor, fairness, objectivity, and impartiality, and should be subject to independent checks and verification. It should not be “bought” by the corporation seeking the permit and use of our river. 

3. The Army Corps of Engineers should deny a permit to Green Hunter for the construction of this barge dock for the following reasons:

A. The Corps should prevent an entire terminal to be completed and to go into operation with details of its construction and use maintained behind a screen of business confidentiality;

B. The Corps should prevent undue pressure placed upon the U.S. Coast Guard in considering whether to allow liquid frack waste transport on the Ohio River;

C. The Corps should consider the health and safety of a river whose water quality affects 11 states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Missouri, and three lower tier southern states;

D. The Corps should provide more time to assess short and long term damages of fracking wastes, (many of which cannot be remediated) to trained scientists in all areas of energy exploration, water management, chemical and petrochemical fields, public health, and the environment as well as elected officials, government regulatory agencies, and citizens;

E. The Army Corps should understand the construction of the barge dock and its facility of pipelines, above-ground tanks, and other facility infrastructure as a clear path to expand the fracking industry—the GreenHunter barge dock project gives the green light to the transport of 105,000,000 gallons or more annually of toxic, flammable, and radioactive drilling wastes for injection into dozens of Ohio injection wells and solid waste disposal in area landfills;

F. The Corps should refuse to participate in a business plan to “offload” onto the public and the states the true costs of bulk shipping on inland waterways while only one corporation, GreenHunter, profits.

The Corps should reject this permit proposal until such time as Ohio has completed the rules process for facilities that will store, recycle, treat or dispose of liquid frack waste.  At this time Ohio has no rules regulating these facilities.

Send your comments to Teresa D. Spagna  teresa.d.spagna@usace.army.mil  

Subject: LRH 2013-848-OHR- Permit Application from GreenHunterMUST be included on subject line.  Please include your name, address, and county of residence in your e-mail.

Please copy to Senator Sherrod Brown. Contact form at brown.senate.gov/contact

See our statewide coalition press release at ecowatch.org or Ohio.com.

Athens County Fracking Action Network acfan.org,     acfanohio AT gmail.com

Scientists document fracking caused water contamination in TX

Scientists: Fracking Polluted Texas Family’s Drinking Water

EARTHWORKS PRESS RELEASE: JUNE 6, 2014

[On June 5]  a Texas TV station broke the news that new independent analysis refutes the oft-repeated claim by the oil and gas industry that “there’s never been a confirmed case of fracking polluting drinking water”.

Using data from Texas regulators, WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas reported that two independent scientists confirmed fracking in Parker County, Texas by the oil and gas company Range Resources polluted resident Steve Lipsky’s drinking water with dangerous levels of methane from the Barnett Shale.

This is familiar news to people living with fracking across the country. Beyond confirming that fracking does pollute drinking water, the independent reviewers also demonstrate that Texas regulators are more interested in protecting the oil and gas industry than the public.

“Texas regulators should be ashamed of themselves,” said Sharon Wilson, Earthworks Texas organizer. She continued: “Whether it’s the Railroad Commission and drinking water, or TCEQ and air pollution, these agencies have shown that Texas communities cannot rely on the state for protection against fracking and drilling companies that threaten their health.”

The Parker County case is not the first example of fracking polluting drinking water:

“It’s time for the U.S. EPA to come clean about how fracking pollutes drinking water,” said Jennifer Krill, Earthworks Executive Director. “The EPA knew about this water pollution, as it did in Wyoming and Pennsylvania. But at the moment of truth, EPA withdrew in all cases rather than definitively declare that fracking pollutes drinking water.”

Wilson concluded: “It’s no wonder that communities across the country, from Texas to California, from Colorado to New York, are trying to ban fracking. We can’t trust our government to protect us. We certainly can’t trust the oil and gas industry. There is no other alternative.”

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Earthworks is dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the adverse impacts of mineral and energy development while promoting sustainable solutions.