Friday, August 12, 2016

Three Fracking Waste Injection Wells in Mahoning Valley, Ohio: Shut Them Down Immediately! (August 12, 2016)

Frackfree Mahoning Valley                                             News Release
For Immediate Release:  August 11, 2016
Contact: Jane Spies:  Phone: 330-619-0730 or 234-201-0402 or email:
Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FMV) is calling for Ohio Governor John Kasich and ODNR Chief Simmers to immediately halt three fracking waste injection well sites near family homes, a “high hazard” dam, an airport, businesses, or schools.  FMV says the injection wells are too close to areas of known seismic activity where man-made earthquakes have already occurred.

FMV will hold a press conference on Friday, August 12, 2016, at 1:15 PM Eastern time, in Youngstown, Ohio, on the public sidewalk in front of Youngstown, Ohio City Hall at Boardman and Phelps Streets.

Geology Professor, Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer, will speak about man-made earthquakes (induced seismicity) and fracking waste injection wells and answer any media questions.
All media are invited to attend.

This injection well site is way too near a family home and an airport in Vienna, Ohio. This site is too close to areas of known, man-made injection well–related and fracking earthquakes in the region. Frackfree Mahoning Valley is calling for Ohio Governor John Kasich and ODNR Chief Simmers to protect the public health and safety of the Vienna and surrounding communities by immediately halting plans to allow what FMV believes to be ultrahazardous, heavy industrial injection well operations in this community that already has experienced an injection well-related spill in 2015.[1] FMV says permitting injection at this site will increase the risk of induced seismicity. Earthquakes cannot be regulated, says FMV.
Youngstown, Ohio, August 11, 2016  Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FMV) is calling for Ohio Governor John Kasich and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Chief Simmers to immediately halt three local injection well sites in order to protect public health, safety, and well-being and to decrease the risk of more man-made earthquakes and risks to drinking water that can result from injection well operations. 

        FMV will hold a press conference on Friday, August 12, 2016 at 1:15 PM in front of Youngstown, Ohio City Hall on the public sidewalk at Boardman and Phelps streets. Geologist Ray Beiersdorfer, Ph.D., Professor of Geology at Youngstown State University, will speak about updated information regarding injection wells, fracking, and man-made earthquakes (induced seismicity).  He will address any media questions.  All media are invited to attend.

       Based upon scientific studies and past experience with the Youngstown magnitude 4.0 earthquake episode and other nearby induced seismicity,  FMV believes that potentially damaging man-made earthquakes could occur if fluid waste injection proceeds at the three injection well sites since we are in an area of known seismic activity.

       Although Frackfree Mahoning Valley wants all waste injection to stop,  the group’s current focus is on the following  three northeastern Ohio injection well sites where injection could occur if permitted by ODNR Chief Simmers:   Vienna, Ohio; Weathersfield/ Niles, Ohio; and Coitsville, Ohio.

       Especially concerning is the Weathersfield/Niles AWMS injection well site, as American Water Management Services (AWMS) has apparently appealed ODNR’s closing of the deeper well due to ODNR’s concerns about public health and safety of the local community.  
       ODNR had stopped operations at the deeper of two wells there due to earthquakes that scientists linked to the deeper injection well.[2] This was the correct and moral decision by ODNR.[3]  FMV is urging ODNR to stand their ground in court by upholding their correct and just decision and keep the AWMS well closed down to protect the public health and safety of the community and region.  
        A shallower AWMS well is still permitted to operate, but is not operational at this time as far as FMV knows. FMV urges ODNR to close both wells due to an unacceptable level of seismic risk.
       There is a federally listed “high hazard” dam a few miles away (about 2.73 miles) from the AWMS injection well site that already has been linked to man-made earthquakes (induced seismicity). FMV says the injection well operation should remain closed, partly because more potential induced earthquakes could be an unacceptable risk to the dam.
       According to the Vindicator regarding Meander Dam, "The federal government lists the dam as ‘high hazard’ – not because of any flaws in the structure that undergoes daily safety inspections.  It is so listed because of the likely massive loss of human life that could occur should it ever face a catastrophic collapse. “[4]  
       FMV recently discovered an article linking to a study by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers that recommended, in relation to the Joe Pool Dam, in Texas, that injection be prevented within five miles of the dam.  According to the “Memorandum for Record,” attached to the study contracted by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, “… As a result, USACE has adopted a 4,000 – foot exclusion zone at Joe Pool Dam within which no drilling will be allowed, regardless of depth.  Additionally, in order to protect the project from induced seismicity, USACE will work to limit injection wells within five miles of the Joe Pool project.  These recommendations are more conservative than the subject study recommends; however, they are considered necessary to ensure that public safety is not reduced as a result of minerals related activities at Joe Pool.” [5]
       FMV intends to attend a public informational meeting in Lowellville, Ohio next week to present their concerns in person to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers’ Pittsburgh District.

       In Vienna the well is very near a family home and way too close to the airport.   ODNR’s suggestion that they will take action if seismic activity is detected by monitors is not good enough to protect the community.  Any potential quakes must be prevented in the first place. Once the fault is destabilized, the harm cannot be undone.   Does the current operation have lightning protection?  Even if it does, it still must be stopped due to being located close to an area of known seismic activity.

       The Coitsville injection well is being plugged back presumably to be put into operation in the future.  It is also too close to the Khalil injection well for which ODNR set a precedent by denying a permit to inject since it is too close to areas of known seismic activity, including the site of the New Year’s Eve 2011 magnitude 4.0 quake.  A Frackfree Mahoning Valley July 11, 2016 news release contains many links to background information on the Coitsville and local injection well situations and can be found here:

       FMV respectfully urges Governor Kasich and ODNR Chief Simmers to please review the latter link and this press release. The only effective solution to protect the public interest is to stop the injection operations at Vienna, Coitsville, and Weathersfield/Niles. 
        FMV urges ODNR to:  deny the injection permit for the Vienna well owned by the Oklahoma company, or revoke it if it is already issued; revoke the Coitsville injection well permit;  and we hope ODNR stands their ground and continues to do the right thing by refusing the permit to inject at the Weathersfield/Niles AWMS site.  It is the right thing to do.

       There is no good solution to the problem of the constant creation of millions of gallons of waste fluid.  Where will it all go? Ohio, or any area, cannot be used as a dumping ground for fracking waste or any kind of waste. We are not a sacrifice zone.   The public health, safety, and well-being must be protected.
       Thank you to Teresa Mills of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) for her research and concepts used in this release.

       For more information, please see:
Frackfree Mahoning Valley:
       For media inquiries or more information, please contact Frackfree Mahoning Valley at: 
234-201-0402   or  e-mail:


[1] Photographs of the 2015 Vienna, Ohio spill and links to news reports and information can be found at:
[2] Ed Runyan, “Study says Weathersfield earthquake and injection well are linked,” The Vindicator, February 17, 2015, ; Also see:  Aaron Marshall, “Youngstown earthquakes raise issues on oilfield wastes from shale exploration,”  The Plain Dealer, updated January 16, 2012,
[3] PDF uploaded document: “Before the Oil & Gas Commission,” American Water Management Services, LLC  vs Division of Oil & Gas Resources Management; Appeal Nos. 889 & 890, Review of Chief’s Orders 2014-372 & 2014 – 374 (AWMS #2 Well); FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND ORDER OF THE COMMISSION, Date Issued: August 12, 2015:
[4] “Meander Dam safety must trump windfalls for cities,” The Vindicator,, April 13, 2016:
[5] Christian McPhate, “Corps of Engineers Wants Gas Drillers to Move Farther Away from Joe Pool Dam,” March 17, 2016, Dallas Observer:
The quoted passage is from  the study referenced in the latter article, page one,” Memorandum for Record,” stamped 17 Feb 2016 by Calvin C. Hudson II, Colonel, EN Commanding :
                                                                 # # #
Also see album:

Monday, July 11, 2016

Prayer Service & Rally July 12, 2016 Coitsville, Ohio: Fracking Waste Wells?! What Is Going On?!

Frackfree Mahoning Valley                                 News Release

For Immediate Release:  July 11, 2016
Contact: Jane Spies:  phone: 330-619-0730   or   234-201-0402

Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FMV), an anti-fracking group whose members live in an area that experienced man-made earthquakes in northeastern Ohio, will participate in a prayer service/vigil conducted by Reverend Monica Beasley-Martin and hold an informational rally on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at 12 noon to 1 PM, just west of 4555 McCartney Road, Coitsville, Ohio, 44436, near an injection well site. The public and media are invited to attend.

FMV will demand that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) release details of the 30-foot “geyser” and industrial activity seen at an injection well site that had experienced a 2011 spill. The group wants transparency and a public ODNR meeting, preferably televised, to be held locally.

FMV says: We have a right to protect our communities. FMV will call for a halt to injection wells in Coitsville, Ohio, Niles/Weathersfield, Vienna, Ohio, and others due to injection wells being a danger to public health, safety, and well-being, especially those located in populated residential areas.

What caused this “geyser”? Injection well site, Coitsville, Ohio on June 24, 2016.

Youngstown, Ohio, July 11, 2016 – On June 24, 2016, a rig and 30-foot “geyser” were witnessed at a Coitsville, Ohio injection well site, the Collins #6 well.   Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FMV) says the  possibility that this Collins injection well may become operational again is especially concerning considering that there was a previous spill at this site in 2011, and a nearby Khalil #3 injection well was not permitted to operate by ODNR since it was too near an area of known seismic activity.  The Collins #6 injection site is only 7.2 miles from the site of the Northstar #1 injection well that experienced the now-famous magnitude 4.0 Youngstown earthquake linked to toxic fracking waste injection.

       The Collins #6 well is only 2.97 miles from the Khalil well and only 5.3 miles away from the site of the Poland Township, Ohio, earthquakes linked to fracking, according to calculations by Teresa Mills of The Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ - ).  Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FMV) believes we are in an area that is prone to man-made earthquakes (induced seismicity), as evidenced by past experience and scientific studies or reports.  The group is calling for a halt to injection operations as we are located in an area of known seismic activity, and waste injection is a risk to protecting public health, safety, and well-being.

       Members of FMV learned that as of July 6, 2016, Coitsville trustees had not yet heard from ODNR regarding the trustees’ reasonable request for a meeting with ODNR to discuss ODNR’s plans for the injection well.[1] Why didn’t ODNR immediately respond to trustees and agree to set up a meeting to inform the trustees and the public of their plans for the Coitsville, Ohio injection well site and to tell them what exactly happened on June 24, 2016 that apparently caused what looked like a geyser?

       The public has a right to know what is going on in their own neighborhoods and to keep themselves and their drinking water, air, and land safe, yet it appears as though ODNR is not being upfront and responding to the trustees or the public in a timely or effective manner. FMV says that is unacceptable and a serious lack of transparency by ODNR.

       To raise awareness of ODNR’s unacceptable lack of responsiveness to the local community and to raise questions about the Coitsville injection well site and other injection sites in the area, Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FMV), a local anti-fracking group whose members live in an area that has experienced man-made earthquakes linked to both injection wells and fracking, will rally and attend a sermon and prayer vigil conducted by Reverend Monica Beasley-Martin of Defenders of the Earth Outreach Mission (  ) on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at 12 noon to 1 PM, just west of 4555 McCartney Road, Coitsville, Ohio, 44436, near an injection well site. The public and media are invited to attend. The group wants to raise awareness and to request a public ODNR meeting, preferably televised, where ODNR can release details of the 30-foot “geyser” and industrial activity seen at an injection well site that had experienced a 2011 drilling mud spill when it was under the ownership of D & L.[2]
       Concerned citizens have many questions that they want ODNR to immediately answer such as:

       From where did the geyser originate and why?  Was this a blow-out?  What was in the “geyser” fluid seen near the drilling rig?”  Where is the official ODNR report?   Is this well being permanently plugged and closed, or is the well being “plugged back” with the plan to use it for injection of waste in the near future?  Did ODNR follow correct legal procedures in transferring a permanently revoked permit from the previous owner to a new company?  How can ODNR transfer a permanently revoked permit? Who is the new owner and do they have any previous violations in Ohio or any other states? Why is the sign on the well apparently in a place where the public cannot easily read it in case of an emergency?

       It is not clear whether the Coitsville injection well in question is being permanently plugged never to be operated again, or just “plugged back.”  If there are plans to plug back the Coitsville injection well to a shallower depth than the Precambrian, and start operations again, FMV says they do not believe that will work to prevent potential man-made earthquakes. Plugging back into the Mt. Simon formation won’t work since cement shrinks or can fail,[3]  and there is another example of a nearby well that was shut down after scientists linked it to man-made earthquakes.  That well, at the AWMS Weathersfield/Niles, Ohio site, was not drilled into the Precambrian since ODNR regulators were supposed to have learned not to do that after the magnitude 4.0 Northstar # 1 Youngstown injection well quake that occurred on December 31, 2011.[4] Numerous small earthquakes happened anyway at the Weathersfield/Niles injection well site, even though the well was drilled into the Mt. Simon and the lessons that were said to have been learned by regulators did not stop man-made earthquakes.[5]
        Why would regulators think, if they indeed do think so, that plugging the Coitsville, Ohio injection well back to the same formation as that in Weathersfield/Niles would prevent earthquakes?  It makes no common sense.  Amazingly, the Weathersfield/Niles injection well case is currently in the courts with an appeal possible of the Oil and Gas Commission’s correct decision to shut down the deeper injection well due to earthquakes.[6] We urge the Oil and Gas Commission and ODNR to stand by their original correct decision to halt the earthquake-linked injection well.  We believe the nearby shallower well should also be closed.

       In light of the history of the local region, there is good reason for the local community and surrounding regions or states to be concerned.  FMV says it is common sense that you can’t have injection wells in populated residential areas, or anywhere, in their opinion. This is because injection wells can be subject to lightning-related explosions and fires, [7] man-made earthquakes, toxic waste spills, air emissions, drinking water risks,[8] and damaged roads from increased truck traffic. 

       Furthermore, Coitsville, Ohio is part of a region that has already experienced toxic fracking waste or injection well-related fiascos including:

--Intentional dumping of fracking waste that got into the Mahoning River

-- In Vienna, Ohio, a release of fluid near an injection well operation destroyed two wetlands and killed fish, turtles, and small mammals. As reported in the WKBN news story, one Vienna resident said regarding her water source: “It is my only source of water, drinking water, food source, bathing water. And if that is contaminated, I don’t know what we are going to do….” [9]  We still do not have an official ODNR or OEPA  final report on what exactly happened there. 

-- A five-mile long “brine spill” in Fowler.[10]  We still do not know exactly what was in the so-called “brine.” 

-- “Brine” truck accidents including in Brookfield and Vienna, Ohio[11]
-- Multiple induced earthquakes linked to injection wells and hydraulic fracturing (fracking).[12]
        As time goes forward from the New Year’s Eve Youngstown, Ohio, magnitude 4.0 induced quake linked to the Northstar # 1 injection well, we are getting more earthquakes despite regulators suggesting that they have it all under control – apparently they do not.   Now there have been quakes, not just at the one Northstar #1 Youngstown, Ohio  magnitude  4.0 site, but since then,  three or possibly four more man-made earthquake sites regionally including Weathersfield/Niles (injection well); Poland Township, Ohio ( fracking related);  Harrison County, Ohio (fracking related);  and Pennsylvania quakes of April, 2016 studied by scientists as possibly fracking-related.[13]
       Previous quakes near our region include Marietta, Ohio – that occurred between 2010 and 2012 – in the Wayne National Forest area - Long Run Well [14] ( injection related);  Ashtabula, Ohio – (injection related)[15] ;  and Painesville, Ohio (suspected injection-related). See a paper referencing the Painesville earthquakes by seismologist Art McGarr who wrote:

“There have been additional case histories of induced earthquakes attributed to wastewater injection in northeastern Ohio since 1988 at Ashtabula [Seeber et al, 2004] and Youngstown [Kim, 2013].  The Ashtabula case history has several features that tend to support the case that the Painesville earthquakes were induced. As will be described below, the larger Ashtabula event occurred 15 years after the start of injection and about 7 km from the injection well considered to have induced this earthquake [Seeber et al, 2004]).” (Also see A. McGarr’s discussion of findings of Keranen et al on the same page). [16] 

       Clearly, our region is not suitable for injection wells based upon its history of man-made earthquakes as described above.  FMV believes that ODNR’s continued permitting of injection of waste is a path to more earthquakes with no assurance that the potential quakes will stay small or infrequent.  It is not known how large they might get.  For example, Oklahoma had a magnitude 5.7 quake that scientists linked to injection.  The question remains regarding what are the effects of even small, repeated tremors upon infrastructure.  Induced seismicity and all that that entails is not good for our local tourism, private property values, private property rights, or our public health, safety, and well-being.

       We do not want more earthquakes, yet, based upon scientific findings, FMV believes that continued waste fluid injection in our region is reckless and puts our area at risk of more induced seismicity.  Earthquakes cannot be regulated, and any attempt to do so is foolish and risky, especially in light of statements made by various scientists about seismicity in northeastern Ohio.  For example, Michael C. Hansen wrote:

 “On the basis of historic seismic activity, it is likely that large earthquakes with epicenters in the state would occur in the western Ohio seismic zone or in northeastern Ohio; there is a lesser possibility of a large earthquake in southeastern Ohio.  Some researchers have suggested that northeastern Ohio is capable of a maximum magnitude 6.5 earthquake, whereas western Ohio may be capable of producing an event in the 6 to 7 magnitude range (maximum MMI of IX).  These suggestions are speculations at best, because there are inadequate data to accurately judge the extent of the area available for rupture on any earthquake – generating fault.”[17] 

       Jeffrey L. Fox wrote in his 2004 thesis about Ashtabula, Ohio earthquakes with Hansen as advisor (p.11):

 “On January 20, 2001, a small (2.0 mbLg) foreshock was followed by a 4.5 mbLg  mainshock on January 26.  This event resulted in about 50 reports of minor-to-moderate damage in Ashtabula, including breakage of two natural gas lines.” [18]   Fox also wrote in the same thesis:

“More research is needed to investigate the role of fluids in fault zones, and care should be taken in choosing sites for waste-fluid injection. […] Although most earthquakes resulting from induced mechanisms are relatively small in magnitude, a few large ones have been recorded around M 5.5 (Nicholson & Wesson, 1990).  It may only be a matter of time before another earthquake of this magnitude occurs due to fluid injection.  As many fluid injection wells are located in or near large cities, an earthquake of such large magnitude could be devastating.” [19]
       Further support for the idea that our area is not suitable for injection comes from a Vindicator article by Mike Costarella who cited a 1986 Vindicator article written by “retired YSU geologist, Ann Harris.” In the following passage, Costarella quoted Harris:

 “‘In the 1980’s, new studies of Ohio revealed that the structure of Precambrian bedrock is very complicated.  These studies have revealed that there is a series of faults in Northeastern Ohio […] This section of Ohio is known as the Eastern Disturbed Zone.’ ”[20]  

       FMV believes permitting and operating injection wells is gambling with the public health and safety since regulators and scientists have said they do not know where all of the faults are. Many are unmapped.  For instance, the “Findings, Conclusions and Order of the [Oil & Gas] Commission” that ruled on the AWMS injection well said with regard to seismicity, geophysics, and injection operations that “… to a certain extent both the industry and the Division are ‘working with their eyes closed.’ “ [p. 12, 8/12/15] [21] 

       Will Drabold, writing for the Columbus Dispatch, quoted geologist Mark Baranoski : “ ‘We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the basement in Ohio,’ he said.”[22]
       Obviously, ODNR’s and other states’ attempts to stop induced earthquakes by increasing seismic monitoring or a “traffic light” system is not working adequately since induced earthquakes are still occurring. To people, usually industry-related persons, who say man-made earthquakes are rare, that doesn’t appear to be the case in our region. We also have reason to believe that is a false statement for many other locations, including in Oklahoma.  It is immoral and reckless to continue permitting injection when it is well-known that the location of many faults is unknown.  We believe it is experimenting with communities who were not asked and were not fully informed before operations took place.

        Cost/benefit and public health and safety analyses would show that injection well operations are not legitimate business activities as they are too risky to public health, safety, and well-being. Spills and releases can threaten drinking water.   Permitting injection well operations near dams and practically in the backyard of a family home and airport in Vienna, Ohio, is reckless and immoral, and should officially be declared illegal. 

       An injection well operation is also near homes, a busy highway, and a small airport in North Lima, Ohio.  If the Coitsville injection well is started up again, it will be near small businesses in Coitsville as well as homes.  These injection wells are a cost to communities, not a benefit.  That cost can include risks to health and safety, earthquakes, and risks to private property and tourism.  The only ones who make any money from injection wells is ODNR and a relatively few injection well operators.  This is wrong.

       ODNR set a precedent by denying the Khalil well an injection permit based upon their finding that “the Khalil #3 saltwater injection well is located in close proximity to an area of known seismic activity.” [23] This Coitsville Collins #6 well is only 2.97 miles from the Khalil well and only 7.2 miles from the Northstar #1 injection well, which scientists say experienced hundreds of tremors, including the widely studied, magnitude 4.0 earthquake of December 31, 2011 that was felt in several surrounding states and as far away as Canada.  The Collins injection well is also only 5.3 miles from the Poland Township man-made earthquake site, which is very close to a new earthquake site in Pennsylvania that is suspected of being linked to fracking.   We believe that this places any Coitsville injection well in an area of known seismic activity.

       According to the Pittsburgh Post –Gazette regarding those recent, possibly fracking-related Pennsylvania quakes, “In the meantime, academic researchers have identified as many as a couple of hundred tiny tremors that preceded the five detectable quakes, which were themselves too small to be felt by humans. The pattern mirrors similar so-called microseismic events that were used to diagnose fracking-related earthquakes just across the border in Ohio.” [24] 

       In summary, here are the distances between the Collins #6 well site and other induced seismicity sites and a map as determined by Teresa Mills of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ)  :

Collins to Khalil is 2.97 miles
Collins to Weathersfield  is 13.5 miles
Collins to Northstar #1   7.2 miles
Collins to Poland township earthquake site is 5.3 miles

       Obviously, these wells are very close to each other.  The Khalil well that was denied an injection permit as described above is less than 3 miles away from Collins # 6 in Coitsville, for example. A scientific paper raises a good question that may apply to our local situation.   “How close is close?”  According to the article,

“Another new study, published this week in Science Advances, found that Oklahoma's earthquake activity has increased in areas where disposal rates have sky rocketed. However, it raises questions about the benefits of reducing the injection rates at individual wells. ‘A number of wells injecting right next to each other could have the same effect as one well injecting their combined volume,’ says Rall Walsh, a Ph.D. student in geophysics at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and the lead author of the study. For neighboring wells, he says, the question is, ‘how close is close?’ “[25]
       For people who claim that injection well earthquakes are rare, FMV says they apparently are not rare here in the “Eastern Disturbed Zone.”  The probability of one large, damaging quake occurring may be rare, but the potential damage that one quake could cause should be avoided by stopping injection.  It’s appalling that ODNR would think that injection can be done safely here. Regulators need to stop pretending that they can control earthquakes via seismic monitoring.

       Some regulators need to stop promoting the idea that an earthquake traffic light system can effectively protect the public health and safety.   Such a system is not working to stop earthquakes linked to injection in Oklahoma, and it won’t work here.  Furthermore, who will be left with the costs as injection well companies go bankrupt, go out of business, or just pack up and leave? The taxpayers will. We don’t want this and can’t afford it. We are not expendable – no one is.

       The unsolvable problem of the creation of unprecedented massive amounts of fracking waste with no good safe solution for handling it cannot be ignored. One cannot logically be for fracking but against fracking waste.  The two go together. The creation of fracking waste with no good solution for its safe “disposal” is a large factor in assessing the feasibility of large scale fracking and is one reason why FMV says that fracking cannot be done safely, or even fairly, with the technology as it stands today.

       In closing, we cite a KMUW (Wichita, Kansas) radio report interview of USGS geophysicist Justin Rubinstein.   In FMV’s opinion, this passage shows , in part, why injection should not take place in the first place, since it is unknown whether or when earthquakes will stop if injection is halted.  According to the report:

One last thing I want to ask is the long-term effect. Even if this wastewater injection stops, can there be lingering issues?

There’s no clear answer, is the short answer. In some areas where we’ve seen termination of injection, we’ve seen the seismicity disappear within weeks. In other areas, the seismicity has lasted for years. And really, the classic case of injection-induced seismicity [is] at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal outside of Denver, earthquakes persisted for over a decade after injection terminated. And in fact, the largest earthquake to occur, which was a magnitude 4.9 there, happened a year after injection stopped. So, just stopping injection isn’t a quick-fix solution. Most of the time, it really does appear to dramatically reduce earthquake rates. But it doesn’t always fix the problem immediately.”[26]
        According to an article in Scientific American:

 “Even if Oklahoma shut down all its wells today, many experts say the quakes would continue. ‘We’re trying to calculate how much energy is in the system right now and how long it may continue on—and at the current earthquake rate the numbers are very big,’ says Daniel McNamara, a seismologist at the USGS Geologic Hazards Science Center in Golden, Colo.

Pressed for details, he paused. Then he added: ‘It’s hundreds of years.’ "[27]
       It is obvious that induced earthquakes are nothing to toy with, especially when there are great risks to public health and safety.  According to scientist Won -Young Kim:
Although we do not know the WSW-ENE extent of the fault(s) in the Youngstown area, it is possible that continued injection of fluid at Northstar 1 well could have triggered potentially large and damaging earthquakes.”[28]
       A very moving, informative news report from Oklahoma tells the story of Jackie Dill whose home suffered extensive damage due to man-made earthquakes. According to the news report quoting Jackie:
 “’I'm really fighting the tears because I've done a lot of crying trying to figure out, what am I going to do? What am I going to do? And if there's me, there's so many other people. It's not just me, it's not just my story, it's thousands of stories,’ Dill says. ‘It's our homes, it's where we live, it's my heart and it's ripping it apart, that's what it's doing.’”[29] 

       It is unfair to make certain individuals or communities bear the costs and risks of induced seismicity.  There is no economic or social benefit to them. There are only costs, and it is too high a price for communities or individuals to pay. 

       Could additional serious damage occur if Ohio keeps allowing the injection of massive amounts of waste fluids?  What protects the property rights of the people living nearby and in the surrounding communities that would be impacted if an earthquake or water contamination occurred? Who will pay if there is earthquake damage to property or injuries?

       The amount of waste being produced by the oil and gas industry is unprecedented; therefore, many questions remain regarding its safe handling or “disposal.” There are too many unknowns and disturbing “knowns.” We believe fracking waste injection is abnormally dangerous or an ultrahazardous activity, especially as it is being permitted in inappropriate places such as near homes, farms, or small businesses.  Industry and “regulators” know, or should know, the well-established science and possible consequences of induced seismicity, yet some of them seem to think they can permit or operate injection wells without regard, or with little regard, for public health and safety implications.

       For some industry people who might say that the U.S. EPA has given high marks to Ohio’s Class II Underground Injection Control (UIC)  program, FMV counters that the EPA has recently been criticized in a February, 2016 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report for not doing enough to protect water from injection well waste. According to an April 12, 2016 article in USA Today by Ian James of The Desert Sun, “The EPA has not consistently carried out oversight of programs that regulate injection wells where oil and natural gas companies send streams of wastewater into the ground, and therefore is unable to properly assess whether sources of drinking water are being protected across the country, the Government Accountability Office said in a report to members of Congress. “ [30]  This GAO report might make some people question EPA’s positive assessment of Ohio’s injection well program.

        We emphasize that we don’t want just a decrease in the number or severity of induced earthquakes. We want to prevent and stop them.  To us, that means stopping injection, especially before any unknown faults are destabilized by fluid injection.

       If so-called “regulators” cannot control induced earthquakes with certainty, and they cannot with the current state-of-the-art knowledge, they have no business permitting injection wells in the first place, especially in highly populated, residential areas near family homes, schools, farms, parks or forests.  The risks to public health, safety, and well-being are too high to accept.  People living anywhere are not expendable.

       If we act proactively, we have a chance to prevent an unacceptable increase in man-made earthquakes and to protect our drinking water sources and the public health, safety, and well-being.

       It is clear that there must be no injection permitted at Collins #6 and Vienna, Ohio.  We ask you, ODNR Chief Simmers, to follow your own reasoning, as you did in the Khalil well and AWMS Weathersfield/Niles well situations, and deny the permits.  

       Denying the permits is the right and moral thing to do to protect the public interest.

       The Facebook event page for the prayer service/vigil and informational rally is here:     

       Thank you to Teresa Mills of CHEJ for her research and concepts used in this report. 
       For media inquiries or for more information:

 e-mail Frackfree Mahoning Valley at or call:


[1] “Coitsville trustees seek meeting with ODNR on township injection wells,” The Vindicator, June 28, 2016,
[2] Karl Henkel, “D&L faced violations in its past But state reports fewer problems at its well sites in recent years,” The Vindicator, January 2, 2012,
[3] Kristine Uhlman and Dick McCracken, 1994, “Abandoned Brine Solution Mining Wells at a RCRA Facility: Compliance Concerns, Conference Proceeding, Eastern Regional Ground Water Issues, NGWA-Burlington, Vermont.

[4] Ed Runyan, “Study says Weathersfield earthquake and injection well are linked,” The Vindicator, February 17, 2015, ; Also see:  Aaron Marshall, “Youngstown earthquakes raise issues on oilfield wastes from shale exploration,”  The Plain Dealer, updated January 16, 2012,
[5] Robert J. Skoumal, Michael R. Brudzinski, and Brian S. Currie, “Microseismicity Induced by Deep Wastewater Injection in Southern Trumbull County, Ohio,” Seismological Research Letters, Volume 86, Number 5 September/October 2015,
[6]  “Owner can appeal injection well shut down since Weathersfield earthquake,” WFMJ TV, June 21, 2016, updated June 26, 2016,
[7]  Includes news video:  “Wastewater storage tank goes up in flames near Greeley,” Fox 31 Denver, April 17, 2015,     Also see: “Fracking Wastewater Tank Explosion: Concerns Over Contaminated Water Reaching Farms,” CBS Denver 4, April 18, 2015,  ; Also see: presentation by Roxanne Groff starting at  minute 27:24 to 41:42, “Ohio Injection Wells for O&G Wastewater,” published July 28, 2015, CinePlex Rex,  YouTube:    The entire video is very enlightening.

[8]  [GAO Report:] “Drinking Water: Safeguards Are Not Preventing Contamination From Injected Oil and Gas Wastes RCED-89-97, Jul 5, 1989”
[9] Derrick Lewis, “Hundreds attend public meeting on Vienna oil spill,”  4/5/15, WKBN TV 27:  ;   Also see:  Shalefield Stories:  A project of Friends of the Harmed,  “Julie Barr: Location: Trumbull County, OH,”
[10]  Video: “Weekend brine water spill reported in Fowler,” WKBN TV report cited on Ohio Citizen Action, July 12, 2012,
[11] “Three vehicle crash in Vienna Township,”  August 1, 2013, Updated, August 11, 2013, WFMJ – TV   ;  See also: “Semi rolls over in Brookfield,” WKBN TV 27, October 6, 2014,
[12]  The following compendium has excellent links to studies and articles, including links related to Ohio induced earthquakes. Especially see pages 81-95 for induced seismicity information: Concerned Health Professionals of New York & Physicians for Social Responsibility. (2015, October 14). Compendium of scientific, medical, and media findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking (unconventional gas and oil extraction) (3rd ed.).
[13] Laura Legere, “State studying link between fracking, Lawrence County earthquakes,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 29, 2016,
[14] To see a reference to a professional engineer’s remarks about the Long Run injection well, near Marietta, Ohio, that may be linked to induced earthquakes, see page 9, paragraph 29,  of the following document: PDF uploaded document: “Before the Oil & Gas Commission,” American Water Management Services, LLC  vs Division of Oil & Gas Resources Management; Appeal Nos. 889 & 890, Review of Chief’s Orders 2014-372 & 2014 – 374 (AWMS #2 Well); FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND ORDER OF THE COMMISSION, Date Issued: August 12, 2015:   ; For links to Long Run injection well information (YouTube videos) and Weathersfield/Niles injection wells information and videos, see: Marc Kovac, Dix Capital Bureau, March 11, 2015, “Hearing begins on Trumbull County injection well,” The Daily Record at:  :   Google “Arthur on Weathersfield injection well 2 of 5” for Testimony by J. Daniel Arthur, Chief Simmers, and others regarding the Weathersfield injection well, etc.  These YouTube videos are posted by OhioCapitalBlog, March 12, 2015.

[15] Jeffrey L. Fox, “Relocation of Earthquake Epicenters Associated With a Class-1 Injection Well, Ashtabula Ohio,” 2004, Advisor, Michael C. Hansen, The Ohio State University Department of Geological Sciences Senior Thesis,
[16] To see an important discussion of the 1986 Painesville, Ohio magnitude 5.0 earthquake, see pages 1014-1015 of the PDF at the following url: A. McGarr, 2014, “Maximum magnitude earthquakes induced by fluid injection,” J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 119, 1008-1019, doi: 10.1002/2013JB010597   ; Also see:  James Risen and Stephanie Droll, “Great Lakes Area Jolted by 5.0 Earthquake,” Los Angeles Times, February 01, 1986,
[17] “Earthquakes in Ohio,” by Michael C. Hansen, Updated 2015,  EL 9., ODNR Division of Geological Survey, Educational Leaflet (EL) Series,
[18] Jeffrey L. Fox, “Relocation of Earthquake Epicenters Associated With a Class-1 Injection Well, Ashtabula Ohio,” 2004, Advisor, Michael C. Hansen, The Ohio State University Department of Geological Sciences Senior Thesis, page 11.
[19] Jeffrey L. Fox, “Relocation of Earthquake Epicenters Associated With a Class-1 Injection Well, Ashtabula Ohio,” 2004, Advisor, Michael C. Hansen, The Ohio State University Department of Geological Sciences Senior Thesis, page 24.
[20] Mike Costarella, “Who’s At Fault?”, March 13, 2012,
[21] Page 12, PDF uploaded document: “Before the Oil & Gas Commission,” American Water Management Services, LLC  vs Division of Oil & Gas Resources Management; Appeal Nos. 889 & 890, Review of Chief’s Orders 2014-372 & 2014 – 374 (AWMS #2 Well); FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND ORDER OF THE COMMISSION, Date Issued: August 12, 2015:
[22] Will Drabold, “Scientists study Ohio’s quakes, fracking,” The Columbus Dispatch, March 16, 2014.

[23] Frackfree Mahoning Valley Press release of February 9, 2016.  Links to ODNR documents can be found here:
[24] Laura Legere, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “State seismic network helps tell fracking quakes from natural ones,” June 26, 2016,
[25] Julia Rosen, “Huge study links wastewater injection wells to earthquakes,” Science, June 18, 2015,
[26] Includes audio, KMUW Wichita, Kansas 89.1, “Wichita’s NPR Station,” “Q&A: Geophysicist Discusses Kansas Earthquakes,” by Sean Sandefur, June 24, 2016,
[27] Anna Kuchment, “Drilling for Earthquakes,” Scientific American,” March 28, 2016,
[28] Won-Young Kim, “Induced seismicity associated with fluid injection into a deep well in Youngstown, Ohio,” July 19, 2013, Journal of Geophysical Research, Solid Earth, Volume 118, Issue 7, July 2013, Pages 3506-3518,
[29] Includes news video: Leslie Rangel,  “Experts say it’s only a matter of time before the ‘big one’ shakes Oklahoma,” KFOR News Channel 4,, November 23, 2015,
[30]  Ian James, The Desert Sun, in USA Today, “Audit: EPA lax guarding drinking water from energy waste, USA Today, April 12, 2016,
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