New Athens County injection well application. Public meeting Tues. Dec. 18, 6 pm

New Athens County Injection Well Permit Application: K&H #4: 

Commissioners to host public meeting to hear concerns TUESDAY DEC. 18 at 6 pm at Athens Community Center

Public encouraged to submit comments to ODNR directly — by Dec. 22 — if you can’t attend the meeting.

K&H Partners of Parkersburg WV has applied for another injection well permit in Torch, the 4th well at this facility. The comment period ends December 22. The application to inject 20,000 barrels of waste a day will double the 20,000 barrels total allowed daily for the three current wells. Since ODNR has never granted a public hearing on injection well permits in the county, the Athens County Commissioners have responded to requests and will host a public meeting on Tuesday, December 18, at 6 pm in the Athens Community Center to hear and gather citizens’ concerns and submit them to ODNR. The public can also send in comments directly to ODNR: e-mail to Ref: Permit #: aPATT033024.

Members of Torch Can Do, ACFAN, and Buckeye Environmental Network (BEN) have met with the Athens County Commissioners repeatedly with concerns about these wells. Roxanne Groff, ACFAN member and BEN board chair, stated, “40,000 barrels means 1,680,000 million gallons a day of toxic radioactive pollution are being pumped down a hole in the ground.” She added, “People think that the word ‘well’ means the waste is contained. It’s not. It’s simply pushed under high pressure down a pipe, which is open at the bottom and who knows where else. The state does no monitoring of groundwater anywhere near the site.”

Torch Can Do has monitored truck traffic and recently counted as many as 60 trucks at a time parked in the Torch U.S. Rt. 50 public rest area, waiting their turn to unload waste at the tank facility. Several years ago, the group counted over 100 trucks in one day pulling into the holding facility, which is visible above the rest area. Felicia Mettler, of Torch Can Do and a BEN board member, commented, “It’s likely that there are 200-300 trucks a day coming in now, given the increase in idling trucks we’ve seen at the rest stop recently. There is still no monitoring of air quality or water testing required by Ohio law. What are these trucks doing to our community, not to mention the 2,759,800 million gallons of waste stored in those tanks that vent directly into our village? Besides the air contamination we already experience and threat of water contamination, I am very worried about an explosion at the site. Can you imagine the toxic fire that almost three million gallons of hydrocarbons would produce?”

Members of the public who can’t provide testimony at the meeting can submit comments directly by Dec. 22 to Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, 2045 Morse Road, Building F-2, Columbus, Ohio 43229-6693, (614) 265-6922, or email Ref: Permit #: aPATT033024.