Torch OH residents organize

Residents of Torch and Coolville, Ohio, near the K&H injection well facility have come together several times in recent months and plan to continue meeting and organizing to educate the community and public officials about impacts they’re experiencing from the industrial facility that has taken over their community in the past three years.  Noise, smells, truck traffic, and earth tremors have become common, day and night. WTAP covered their recent meeting with this report: Concerned Citizens of Coolville Organize.

And now the group has published and is distributing the following fact sheet, which also announces their next public meeting on October 1 at 6:30 pm in the Coolville Fire Station:

Why should I care about INJECTION WELLS in my Ohio community?

“Fracking” is used by oil and gas companies to get more out of a gas well.  With horizontal fracking, millions of gallons of water laced with carcinogenic chemicals are shot into the ground under high pressure to fracture shale. This releases the gas & oil trapped there. What happens when this “water” comes back to the surface? Because it is toxic to plants, animals, and humans, it must be “disposed of.” Here’s where injection wells come in: they allow the toxic, radioactive waste to be pumped back into the ground where it disperses. Only the oil & gas companies (and sometimes the government) know what chemicals are in this toxic mix, and they are NOT telling.

Residents of Torch, OH now find that 3 of these Class II injection wells have been built right under their noses by K&H Partners of West Virginia in spite of opposition by Athens County Commissioners and many county residents. Only a chain link fence and “No Trespassing” signs mark the location. Holding tanks, deceptively painted green, are visible from the four-lane. The only signs of life are tanker trucks lined up around the clock waiting to expel their waste. No sign tells of the millions of gallons of toxic waste being pumped into the ground next to the rest stop.

Our County Commissioners and many residents have grave concerns about the wells:

  • Wells are just steel and concrete pipes into the ground. These wells are not enclosed containers – Where the toxic waste will migrate underground is unknown. (Drouin, 2014)
  • The holding tanks vent carcinogenic chemicals 24 hours a day. ODNR and EPA do not monitor the nearby air to determine levels of these fumes.
  • Aquifers in the region are not mapped. The K&H pipes only go down about 2000 feet. The drilled holes are about 4000 feet deep. (ODNR website) Class II wells have no monitoring wells around them. (USEPA)
  • Seismic activity has been linked to injection wells in OH and other states. (Oskin, 2015) A 3.5 magnitude earthquake shook Athens Co. Ohio on Nov. 20, 2013. (The Columbus Dispatch, 2013) Athens County was also rattled by an earthquake centered in Virginia on August 23, 2011. The wells and our homes are not built to withstand tremors.
  • Tanker trucks rumbling down our roads filled with hazardous toxic waste are only labeled “Brine” because oil & gas waste is exempt from federal hazardous waste regulations and important parts of the federal Safe Drinking Water, Clean Air, and Clean Water acts (U.S. EPA, 2014).
  • ODNR does NO testing of groundwater, surface water, or drinking water for contamination anywhere around the wells it permits and from which it profits.
  • Our fire departments and first responders have no Material Safety Data Sheets to know what chemicals are burning if there is a fire.
  • The ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management supersedes the EPA and issues injection well permits. (ODNR, 2010) NO public hearing has ever been granted when local residents and officials request one from the ODNR concerning these permits.

Please join dozens of neighbors who are concerned about this toxic, radioactive waste too. You are invited to come to an open informational meeting.  The meeting will be held at the Coolville Fire House on October 1st at 6:30 PM.

References:

Drouin, R. as_fracking_booms_growing_concerns_about_wastewater. e360.yale.edu

Oskin, B. fracking-is-not-the-cause-of-quakes-rather-its-frackings-wastewater from washingtonpost.com

State Impact PA: Deep Injections Wells: How Drilling Waste Gets Disposed Underground

U.S. EPA. Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing Under the Safe Drinking Water Act