Friday, May 30, 2014

FFM RECEIVES NEW DOCUMENTS, MORE QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS AND TOWNHALL MEETING ON THURSDAY, JUNE 5, 2014

Youngstown, Ohio, May 29, 2014 – Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FFM), a group of concerned citizens who oppose fracking and related processes, still has serious concerns and questions about the new radioactive waste plant that plans to store and treat potentially radioactive fracking waste in the heart of Youngstown, Ohio. FFM is holding a townhall-style meeting on Thursday June 5, 2014 to address some of these issues. EVENT HERE
Thursday 5-7pm, The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown 1105 Elm St. (Elm & Illinois), Youngstown, Ohio 44505
            In an astonishing new development, FFM just received disconcerting documents on May 28, 2014 as a result of a public information request by Freshwater Accountability Project.  These documents seem to show that Austin Masters Services is claiming trade secret protections regarding the unusual method they plan to use at the Youngstown facility to determine radioactive material levels, specifically TENORM.  FFM asks how such a sensitive and important issue as determining radioactivity levels can be subject to trade secrets? This is an issue of public health and safety. No secrets should be allowed. How did the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) grant a license for what now appears to be a secret method? Has this method been properly validated by independent scientists?  This is just another major reason to halt these operations now while crucial information about its safety is gathered, examined, and enforced.

       Other big questions that still remain unanswered are:  Why does it seem that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) was rushing to get a radioactive waste facility permitted without public knowledge or even Youngstown City Council’s knowledge? Did ODNR fear that the public would not want this radioactive waste facility in their community if they knew about it ahead of time, or that due diligence involving public health experts and physicians would show that the operation is too high risk to operate in Youngstown near residential areas?

       Does ODNR have the expertise to “regulate” radioactive material? We believe that they do not. Who does ODNR have on staff right now who is certified and scientifically qualified to monitor, regulate, and enforce rules in case there is any violation occurring?  As far as we can determine, there are no pertinent ODNR new rules in place to regulate TENORM (technologically-enhanced naturally-occurring radioactive material), so how can there be any violation prevented if there are no rules?

       These are just a few of the questions that FFM says the general public deserves to have answered and that should have been answered before ODNR permitted the operations in question at the plant.

       FFM says ODNR should immediately revoke the “permit” for newly permitted operations at 240 Sinter Court based upon, in part, the risk to public health, safety, and welfare, and the fact that local officials and the community had not been fully informed or notified about the operation. Worker safety must be safeguarded.  Operations permitted by the ODNR “Chief’s Order” , dated March 6, 2014, should immediately halt in the interest of safeguarding the public health, safety, and welfare. 

       Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FFM) says it is very troubling that local elected officials did not know about the existence of the ODNR “Chief’s Order” for this radioactive waste plant until very recently. There are still too many unknowns about this plant.

       The existence of this operation was first revealed by a heroic and persistent concerned citizen, Teresa Mills of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, who used a public information request to get the information from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. If she had not been diligent, it is probable that our community would still not know what is happening in their midst.

       It should not be this difficult for the public to get the information from the state regarding operations that carry high risk, especially since they involve the handling of radioactive materials. This is especially true when these operations are physically placed near residential areas close to homes, schools, and not far from the Northstar 1 injection well that is linked to over 100 earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio, including the now-famous 4.0 magnitude December 31, 2011 earthquake. Some nearby residents say they experienced damage to their homes as a result of the 4.0 magnitude quake.

       Youngstown Mayor, John McNally, should take the lead and responsibility for doing proper due diligence to ascertain exactly what is going on at the 240 Sinter Court waste facility.  Mayor McNally’s statements to the public on May 21, 2014 give the impression that he apparently accepts that the operation is safe even though he has not yet provided written scientific proof to the public that shows on what documentation he is basing his opinion. It is important to stress that this is a newly permitted operation.  This company is attempting to do something that it, reportedly, has not done before. A Business Journal article referenced the Pennsylvania-based Austin Masters Services, the company that ODNR has “permitted” to deal with radioactive waste, in the following quote:

       “The technology has been used for years in other industries, but this is the first time Austin Masters has tried to apply it to the oil and gas industry.”

       (“Company Gets Permit to Handle Radioactive Waste,” by Dan O’Brien, Youngstown Business Journal, April 21, 2014 at:  http://businessjournaldaily.com/drilling-down/company-gets-permit-handle-radioactive-waste-2014-4-21   )

       We repeat that due diligence should have been done before the plant was permitted. We understand that city officials were not notified by ODNR, but this is part of the problem for which we are now seeking fair and positive solutions. Why didn’t ODNR inform or notify Youngstown officials and the general public ahead of time?

       In addition, most of the fracking waste that will be accepted at the new radioactive waste facility is probably coming from new unconventional horizontal fracking, possibly from out-of-state as well as from within Ohio. (This will also have to be ascertained). This fracking waste potentially comes from different sources than the kind of conventional vertical drilling many people are familiar with in Ohio. Therefore, this is a relatively new development in the situation that should be considered.

       This is a very important point. Too frequently, some gas and oil industry representatives or politicians who state that “fracking has been going on for decades” are referring to a different kind of well, using decades-old drilling technology. In contrast, we are referring to the new, unconventional, horizontal, high pressure, high volume, slick water kind of fracking wells or drilling operations. This is different. This unconventional, new technology is only about a decade old. It is misleading for some politicians and industry representatives to repeatedly tell the public that industry has been fracking for sixty years and, thereby, imply that this new, unconventional, horizontal drilling is a proven and old technology. It is not. It does involve new technology. Misleading or misdirecting statements about how long the industry has been fracking must not go unchallenged.

       Please see Dr. Anthony Ingraffea’s excellent explanation of the difference between unconventional wells vs. conventional wells at the following link:

http://frackfreemahoning.blogspot.com/2014/01/PLEASE-AllConcernedOhioCitizensContactODNR-TellStateToCeaseMendacityHypocrisyNOW.html

       We request that Youngstown City Councilwoman Annie Gillam please follow through with her statement to attendees at the May 21, 2014 Youngstown City Council meeting to the effect that ODNR should be called in to explain the newly permitted waste operation to Youngstown City Council, local officials, and to the general public.

       Furthermore, Youngstown City Councilman, Paul Drennen told WFMJ TV, in a May 21, 2014 news report:

        “If there was something going on with this company and they weren’t following the rules or things were happening because of what they were doing that were harming the environment or individuals, yeah, as City Council, we would definitely push that up to the state level and the ODNR to make sure everybody was doing what they were supposed to be doing.”

       FFM asks City Councilman Drennen: According to our research, there are no relevant, new, required ODNR rules in place to regulate TENORM at this facility.  If you did not know that this operation was even happening in Youngstown, how can you be sure that they are not breaking the rules or potentially adversely affecting public health and safety?  We ask that you please do take up this issue, based upon your statement to the media, and as an elected representative of the public interest. We respectfully request that you and Youngstown City Council do your due diligence and get feedback from independent scientists, physicians, lawyers, medical and public health professionals, and the general public as it pertains to this new operation. We as citizens cannot wait for an accident to occur before we act to protect our community from potential harm. We cannot act after damage has been done, especially if it is irreparable damage. We must be proactive to prevent harms or injustice in our communities.

       In the interests of full transparency, we are respectfully requesting a presentation format for an ODNR meeting that would allow questions and dialogue between ODNR presenters and the public or independent experts in real time, preferably televised or otherwise broadcast or published, so that the public has access to the information that it needs to make informed decisions regarding our communities.

       The bottom line is that there is no good, safe or fair way to “dispose” of the millions upon millions of gallons or tons of toxic, potentially radioactive fracking waste that is constantly being generated by the oil and gas industry. Where will all of the fracking waste go?  The enormous amount or volume of oil and gas waste being produced is new and unprecedented.  (Please see news article below). The industry must stop generating it.

“Radioactive Waste Booms With Fracking as New Rules Mulled,” by Alex Nussbaum, April 16, 2014, Bloomberg at:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-15/radioactive-waste-booms-with-oil-as-new-rules-mulled.html

        The size and massive scale of planned industrialization related to fracking, related processes, and infrastructure is changing our American landscape and quality of life for millions of people. Not everyone welcomes this kind of change on a grand scale, especially when no one consulted nor fully informed the American people about risks and downsides to hydraulic fracturing. In fact, many people, especially those living near these operations, feel that unconventional, horizontal shale gas development and associated practices are unacceptable, a threat to their health and safety, and are a serious injustice that must be acknowledged and fairly resolved.

       FFM says it does not want the 240 Sinter Court operation to act as a “magnet” for attracting even more potentially radioactive or toxic fracking waste to be trucked or otherwise transported through our neighborhoods and surrounding communities.  More questions arise, such as the following:

       Upon what routes is the waste being transported? How many fracking waste trucks are expected to travel through our neighborhoods and highways, and who will pay for any road damage or potential accidents – the taxpayers?  Which landfills are being considered for taking this waste? Are there federal or state laws governing the transport of radioactive waste and, if yes, how will this be monitored and enforced? The citizens have the right to know this information since there are risks to public health and safety, especially in light of astonishing special exemptions for the gas and oil industry as it relates to trucking regulations.  

       (Please see “Deadliest Danger Isn’t at the Rig but on the Road,” by Ian Urbina, May 14, 2012, The New York Times at:

 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/15/us/for-oil-workers-deadliest-danger-is-driving.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0    ;

and:  “Fracking boom producing deadly side effect,” May 5, 2014, Associated Press, on CBSNews at:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fracking-boom-producing-deadly-side-effect/     )

       To help get answers to some of these important questions, Frackfree Mahoning Valley will hold a public townhall – style meeting for residents and officials of Youngstown and all surrounding communities, including Poland, Boardman, Austintown, Struthers and more, since what Youngstown officials allow in the heart of the city potentially affects the public health, safety, and well-being of those communities. If this radioactive waste facility is permitted to operate, it will necessitate that (if not already in place) these same communities prepare emergency preparedness plans, evacuation plans, and first responder training at the taxpayer expense, apparently. Who is expected to pay for this?

       The Frackfree Mahoning Valley townhall-style meeting on Thursday June 5, 2014, is open to the public.  All media are invited to attend.  The townhall meeting will be held from 7:00PM to 9:00PM at The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown at 1105 Elm Street, Youngstown, Ohio 44505. Frackfree Mahoning Valley will present information at the townhall, and there will be time for townhall attendees to ask questions and/or share their information and concerns in an effort to find positive solutions to our collective concerns.

       We are urging surrounding community public officials, representatives, and citizens to please attend especially since the public are not yet informed of what routes the fracking waste will travel through if this plant is allowed to operate. Media and attendees from other states are also urged to attend.

       FFM says that a May 27, 2014 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article includes issues relevant to the current situation in the Youngstown area:

       See “Two more drilling sites found with Marcellus Shale sludge radioactivity in Washington County; DEP sees no threat,” by Don Hopey, May 27, 2014, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/05/27/Two-more-containers-found-with-Marcellus-Shale-sludge-radioactivity-in-Washington-County/stories/201405270162#ixzz32yno8Pyp


FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO SEE THE DOCUMENTS:

http://frackfreemahoning.blogspot.com/2014/05/radioactive-fracking-waste-plant-youngstown-ohio.html

Friday, May 2, 2014

Ohio Residents Appeal Location of Radioactive Fracking Waste Processor In Youngstown

UPDATE, May 29:

FFM RECEIVES NEW DOCUMENTS, MORE QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS Read More Here...


UPDATE, June 4:  
YOUNGSTOWN CITIZENS PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM
RADIOACTIVE FRACKING WASTE
 Wednesday June 4, 2014

26 S. Phelps St. City Hall, Council Chambers
Youngstown, Ohio 44503
5:30 PM
(EVENT HERE)
Citizens Voice Concerns about RADIOACTIVE frack waste processing facility within the city of YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO Read more below:
Click image to view larger

Please see PDFs of important documents concerning the Youngstown waste handling plant.

 
Austin Master Services, LLC withholds details on radioactive fracking waste processing method claiming it is a Trade Secret:

Company Claims Radioactive Treatment Process Is A Trade Secret PDF
Download File



Please see the following 4 articles: 3 are from The Business Journal (Youngstown ), and 1 is from Free Press (Columbus), an article by Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer, geologist.

"Activists Raise Concerns about Handling of Radioactive Waste"

http://businessjournaldaily.com/drilling-down/activists-raise-concerns-about-handling-radioactive-waste-2014-4-24 

Thursday, April 24, 2014 - The Business Journal - By Dan O'Brien
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Residents here have lodged an appeal with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, asking that the agency revoke a permit they say would allow a local operation to process radioactive waste.   [ ... ] Read more...

"Company Gets Permit to Handle Radioactive Waste"

http://businessjournaldaily.com/drilling-down/company-gets-permit-handle-radioactive-waste-2014-4-21

Monday, April 21, 2014  - The Business Journal - By Dan O'Brien
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Activists in Ohio are concerned that a local company may soon be handling waste from the oil and gas industry that they say is just too hot to handle. [ ... ] Read more...


"ODNR’s Press Release Raises More Questions Than it Answers"

"Radioactive Shale Waste Hotter to Handle than Realized"

June 19, 2014 The Business Journal - by Ray Beiersdorfer,  professor in the Geological and Environmental Sciences Department at Youngstown State University.
http://businessjournaldaily.com/drilling-down/guest-commentary-radioactive-shale-waste-hotter-handle-realized-2014-6-19 
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- In April, residents of Brier Hill joined Frack Free Mahoning Valley to appeal an order issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that authorized Industrial Waste Control/Ground Tech Inc. to operate a plant at 240 Sinter Court in Youngstown.
The plant on Sinter Court will receive potentially radioactive brine, drill-cuttings, drilling mud and tank-bottom sludge from fracking operations that released shale gas.
Sinter Court lies along the Mahoning River, three-fourths of a mile due west of St. Elizabeth Medical Center. [...] Read more...


radioactive fracking waste processing plant Youngstown Ohio map
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map of radioactive fracking waste processing plant Youngstown Ohio
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Mahoning River, Youngstown, Ohio at radioactive fracking waste processing plant Youngstown Ohio
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radioactive fracking waste processing plant Youngstown Ohio
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Mahoning River
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map of radioactive fracking waste processing plant Youngstown Ohio
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radioactive fracking waste processing plant Youngstown Ohio on banks of Mahoning River, Youngstown, Ohio
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map for radioactive fracking waste processing plant Youngstown Ohio
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Monday, March 17, 2014

FRACKFREE MAHONING VALLEY CALLS FOR THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES (ODNR) TO IMMEDIATELY RELEASE ALL RECORDS


Frackfree Mahoning Valley                                             News Release
www.frackfreemahoning.blogspot.com
_______________________________________________________
For Immediate Release:  March 17, 2014
Contact: Jane Spies:  Phone: 330-619-0730 or 234-201-0402 or frackfreemahoning@gmail.com
Susie Beiersdorfer:  Phone: 234-201-0402  or 330-881-1050 or E-mail: frackfreemahoning@gmail.com

 ______________________________________________________

SUMMARY:  MARCH 17 IS THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST 2011 EARTHQUAKES WIDELY REPORTED IN YOUNGSTOWN. FRACKFREE MAHONING VALLEY (FFM), A GROUP OF CONCERNED CITIZENS, RELEASES A STATEMENT REGARDING TWELVE, NEW, MARCH, 2014, YOUNGSTOWN – AREA EARTHQUAKES THAT OCCURRED NEAR A HORIZONTAL FRACKING OPERATION. FRACKFREE MAHONING VALLEY CALLS FOR THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES (ODNR) TO IMMEDIATELY RELEASE ALL RECORDS AND DATA TO INDEPENDENT SCIENTISTS AND TO THE PUBLIC TO HELP DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF THE 12 EARTHQUAKES AND TO ENSURE THAT THE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELL-BEING OF THE PUBLIC IS PROTECTED

Youngstown, Ohio, March 17, 2014 – A Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FFM) statement dated March 17, 2014 regarding the March, 2014, Youngstown-area earthquakes follows:

       Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FFM) says that Ohio must have an independent, scientific investigation of the cause of twelve, March, 2014 Youngstown – area earthquakes that occurred near a horizontal fracking operation. FFM says that this investigation must take place in order to ensure that the community’s public health, safety, and well-being are protected.
       Frackfree Mahoning Valley says that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) should not be solely in charge of the investigation based upon their track record in handling the 2011 series of injection well-related earthquakes that led to the now-famous 4.0 magnitude earthquake of December 31, 2011, that was reported as felt in Youngstown, several surrounding states, and as far away as Canada. ODNR should immediately release and publicly share all pertinent data, which is related to the new earthquake activity in Poland Township, Mahoning County, with independent scientists who are also studying, or want to study, these 2014 earthquakes. The data should also be immediately shared with the public to ensure transparency and accountability. Publicly releasing this data will also enable members of the public with expertise in this area to come forward with helpful information.
       Based upon ODNR’s track record in handling the 2011 earthquake swarm that led to the now-famous 4.0 magnitude earthquake and other failures and lack of transparency by ODNR, we do not have confidence that ODNR can conduct a competent study of the March, 2014 Poland Township earthquakes in an impartial and transparent way that ensures that the best interest of the public will be the first priority.
       We believe that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) mishandled the first series of Youngstown-area induced seismic activity in 2011, which we now know, due to a later scientific study, that it was a series of 109 earthquakes, not just the 12 or so largest quakes that we were aware of at that time. The 4.0 magnitude Youngstown earthquake, which scientists have linked to fracking waste injection, occurred on December 31, 2011.
       ODNR was not proactive in handling the earthquakes of 2011. ODNR initially denied the connection between the multiple Youngstown-area earthquakes and deep fracking waste injection at the Northstar 1 well even as late as November 7, 2011,  when state ODNR geologist Tom Tomastik told a media outlet that “there is no link between earthquakes and injection well”, according to a Vindicator Time Line cited below.  The state geologist said this despite the fact that earthquakes had started on March 17, 2011.   Also from the same Vindicator article, referring to the date of November 15, 2011,  Until this point, no substantial evidence-gathering took place … .”  Astonishingly, ODNR permitted increased pressure at the injection well despite the fact that several earthquakes had already occurred.  For more details please see the time line of events at the following url: 
“Earthquake Time line,” Vindicator, March 16, 2012:
http://www.vindy.com/news/2012/mar/16/earthquake-time-line/

       We cannot afford to risk a replay of how ODNR handled the previous series of 109 earthquakes in 2011. There is too much at stake for our community. We do not trust that ODNR can carry out a proper study in a transparent way that allows adequate public, media, and scientific scrutiny.  There are already signs that ODNR is not being open or transparent with the public as evidenced by the following quote from a Columbus Dispatch article of March 16, 2014:
       “Questions about the area’s geology and drilling went unanswered last week by ODNR officials and several state geologists, who said they were told not to comment.”
       The previous quote is from “Scientists study Ohio’s quakes, fracking,” The Columbus Dispatch, March 16, 2014, by Will Drabold:

       This begs the question: Who is telling state geologists not to comment and why?

       Furthermore, how can a state agency properly regulate an industry from which it receives money? Isn’t that a conflict of interest? One example of this is that the state of Ohio makes money from the deep injection of in-state and out-of-state fracking waste, according to the following NBC4i.com report of May 23, 2012. A quote from that report follows:
"Ohio charges in-state drillers 5 cents a barrel, and out-of-state drillers 20 cents a barrel to dispose of drilling waste in Ohio." 

  “NBC4 Investigates: What’s In The Drilling Waste Water Traveling Into Ohio?”  May 23, 2012 at:
http://www2.nbc4i.com/news/2012/may/23/nbc4-investigates-whats-drilling-waste-water-trave-ar-1047008/

       We believe that there are already reasons to be concerned about ODNR’s lack of transparency and inability to conduct a proper investigation of the current earthquake situation. For example, as reported in the Columbus Dispatch (3/13/14), the necessary equipment to collect seismic data relevant to earthquake depth that would help to determine the precise cause of the recent earthquakes had not yet been deployed by the state.  Why the apparent delay?  If not yet deployed, when does the state plan to gather the necessary data, or are they planning on trying to collect the data?
     See:  “Stakes high in mystery over fracking, quakes,” by Will Drabold, The Columbus Dispatch, March 13, 2014 at:

       Although it seemed that ODNR had ordered all operations to halt, now we learn that, according to a Columbus Dispatch article dated March 14, 2014, ODNR spokesman Mark Bruce said: “Hilcorp Energy Co.’s one producing fracking well at the Republic Services Carbon Limestone Landfill remains in operation.”  (Columbus Dispatch, 3/14/14)
       These gaps in information do not inspire confidence in ODNR’s handing of this situation. If ODNR is not being upfront and truthful with the public, or if they are not providing all relevant information, how are independent scientists and the community going to be able to figure out what is really going on with the earthquakes?
       The above quote is from:  “Mahoning County well continues to extract oil, gas despite concerns,” by Will Drabold, The Columbus Dispatch, March 14, 2014 at:

       This earthquake situation is not about politics. It is about allowing independent scientists to learn what is causing the earthquakes and to do their work without unnecessary obstacles. It is about the public as stakeholders in what happens as a result of the investigation. It is about a community of people and families seeking to preserve our chosen way of life.  It is our quality of life, the democratic process and the public health, safety, and well-being that are at stake here. Therefore, the public and independent scientists need to have immediate access to all of the records, logs, and data that ODNR has.
       Also concerning is that ODNR tried to rule out injection well operations in relation to the new earthquake activity saying that the closest active injection well is 14 miles away from the Poland Township fracking operation, according to the Columbus Dispatch (3/13/14).   Yet, according to the same Columbus Dispatch article, U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist, Arthur McGarr said “… long-term disposal can cause temblors as far as 15 miles away. Even closed wells could cause earthquakes, he said.” (Columbus Dispatch, 3/13/14) 
       The previous quotes are from: “Stakes high in mystery over fracking, quakes,” by Will Drabold, The Columbus Dispatch, March 13, 2014 at:

       It is now known that they were 12 earthquakes in March, 2014, if they are all counted.  The Columbus Dispatch reported on March 14, 2014, that ODNR’s spokesman Mark Bruce said, “… the additional earthquakes that Columbia monitored were incidental.”  Furthermore, the Columbus Dispatch quotes ODNR spokesman Mark Bruce as writing: “ ‘Ohio’s increased monitoring network records micro-seismic events that happen around the state almost daily (and) are not felt, ‘ he wrote in an email.”   (Columbus Dispatch, 3/14/14)
            According to the same article, Columbia University senior scientist Won Young-Kim said “… they are significant and that a connection is likely.” (Columbus Dispatch, 3/14/14).  
              The above quotes are from: “More quakes reported near fracking well,” by Will Drabold, The Columbus Dispatch, March 14, 2014, at:

       We believe that Bruce’s statement about “micro-seismic events” in Ohio could have major implications for scientists’ ability to gain access to crucial data that could help to clarify possible connections between Ohio wells and induced earthquakes, even those that are not felt at the surface.   We say that if ODNR has data regarding other Ohio “micro-seismic events,” that are happening as frequently as Bruce is quoted as saying, this data also must be made immediately available to the public and to independent scientists since it could provide information that could help in the current investigation and also help to determine whether other fracking or injection well operations across Ohio might be correlated with micro-seismic events.
       How will we know what the situation really is regarding earthquakes if we do not have effective methods in place to look, or we simply do not look closely using the methods we do have in place?  
       The community must not be deprived of the information that they need to make informed decisions about earthquakes, fracking, and related processes. Important questions need to be answered and information shared with the public, such as: 
       Could the 3.0 magnitude earthquake that occurred in Mahoning County on March 10, 2014 near the fracking operation have damaged the well? 

       For background on the latter question, please see: Dr. Anthony Ingraffea and Dr. Terry Engelder:  Video published on YouTube, February 10, 2013, “4/4 Q & A Hydrofracking Debate in Dundee,” :  
       Especially see starting at 8 minutes 57 seconds re earthquakes and fracking at:
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKQ7VVRYspU&list=PLo1TDxDrIRYq8HZoMEY-t2uiqPpsdjhSn
       According to a Los Angeles Times article by Paresh Dave, titled “Ohio earthquakes rattle up concerns about fracking” (March 12, 2014):
        “‘The epicenters are right where they are doing the work,’ Ray Beiersdorfer, a Youngstown State University geology professor whose wife co-founded Frackfree America, told the Los Angeles Times. ‘There had never been any earthquakes in this county until these wells starting coming in, so it seems suspect.’ “

       These are just some of the latest reasons why we have no confidence in ODNR’s ability to conduct a transparent, responsible, impartial, and scientific investigation of the cause of the most recent earthquakes. Therefore, if ODNR is reluctant to share information that impartial scientists need access to or fails to deploy the required seismometers in a timely fashion, we are asking for an attorney willing to help pro bono to please come forward to help us to ensure that the data and records are released in a timely fashion to independent scientists and to the public.
        Also of concern to Frackfree Mahoning Valley, is a shocking document, from 2012, that reportedly may be a state plan to promote fracking in state parks and forests to Ohioans. State officials are denying that the plan has been implemented. Under the “Pertinent State Policies” section, it stated: “No oil and gas drilling is permitted that would cause surface disturbance on land within state parks.  Drilling may be permitted underneath inland state park land and waters.”
        The 2012 document named allied groups, neutral groups, and opposition groups or individuals. In addition, the “frackgate” plan, as some refer to it, still has not been adequately publicly scrutinized to see who in fact wrote it or was told to write it, who discussed it, and whether it was implemented. The states’ possible involvement in a meeting or internal discussions on taxpayer-paid time regarding this promotional plan is concerning.
       If further scrutiny of the “frackgate” situation proves that state or ODNR officials or employees or agencies were seeking to “marginalize” or discredit the message of valid public health concerns and to mislabel or to discredit the messengers, then we believe that ODNR cannot do their job, which is to protect the public health, safety, and well-being.  ODNR’s job is not to prejudge and outright dismiss legitimate grievances made by Ohioans.  Further investigation of this plan and the documents that were uncovered are necessary to uncover the truth about what really happened.
       [A PDF of the “frackgate” memo, as some are calling it, and other pertinent information can be found in the following article:]
       “Kasich’s office reportedly involved in 2012 Ohio report to promote fracking in state parks, forests,” by Bob Downing, Beacon Journal staff writer, February 17, 2014 at:
[and:]
       “Kasich aides said to mull targeting drilling foes,” by Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press, as published on Ohio.com, February 18, 2014:

       Earthquakes, even small earthquakes, are nothing to toy with. This is not about politics. It is about science and public health. It is our lives, our health, and our quality of life in our communities and our children’s and grandchildren’s quality of life that is at stake here.  We must do everything possible to ensure their well-being now and into the future.
       Please see the following links for more information. Contact information for Frackfree Mahoning Valley is provided below and at:      http://www.frackfreemahoning.blogspot.com
Links follow:

Frackfree America National Coalition, based in Youngstown, Ohio:     www.frackfreeamerica.org

“Ohio's earthquake average since 2010 has risen,” Associated Press, March 16, 2014, as published at the WFMJ-TV website:


“Ohio Looks at Whether Fracking Led to 2 Quakes,” by Henry Fountain, New York Times, March 11, 2014 at:

Please also see 2 news videos with the following 2012 article:
“Threat of Lawsuit Over California’s Controversial Oil Drilling   Hundreds of wells being fracked in California,” August 29, 2012, NBC Bay Area, by Stephen Stock, Liza Meak, and Mark Villarreal at:

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/What-the-Frack-Controversial-Drilling-Happening-Here-in-California-140956263.html

“Ohio earthquakes rattle up concerns about fracking,” by Paresh Dave, March 12, 2014, Los Angeles Times:

“Researcher Says Mahoning Earthquakes Are Likely Linked to Shale Drilling,” March 14, 2014, Ideastream report by Andy Chow: [An excerpt from the Ideastream report follows:]
“The Ohio Department of Natural Resources declined an interview for this story.”

Kasich said state officials continue reviewing earthquake date … ,” The Vindicator, March 15, 2014, by Marc Kovac at:

 http://www.vindy.com/news/2014/mar/15/kasich-earthquake-data-review-will-conti/

 

Earthquake information on the Frackfree America National Coalition, based in Youngstown, Ohio, website:
http://www.frackfreeamerica.org/1/post/2014/03/fifth-earthquake-shakes-youngstown-ohio-suburb-of-lowellville-east-of-poland-oh-march-11-2014-near-7-fracking-wells-of-2-hilcorp-company.html

[Excerpt from url below:]
“--More Ohio Inspectors? – According to an Earthworks report: “Perhaps even mores striking, data in the table reveal that in 2010 Ohio failed to perform inspections at 91 percent of the state’s active oil and gas wells. More than 58,000 oil and gas wells had no regulatory oversight that year. The situation did not improve in 2011. That year, approximately 90% of wells did not get inspected.[5] …” The latter excerpt is from: “Ohio Oil & Gas Enforcement – Inspections,” by Earthworks.
What has happened since 2011 regarding inspections? Is ODNR really able to adequately inspect even with the recent addition of more inspectors? We don’t think so.
Go to http://www.earthworksaction.org/and Search at the top for keywords Ohio Inspections to find the report.”
See:
“Mahoning Valley group troubled by well at Meander Reservoir,” January 20, 2014,
 http://www.ohio.com/blogs/drilling/ohio-utica-shale-1.291290/mahoning-valley-group-troubled-by-well-at-meander-reservoir-1.460586

“Who’s at Fault?” by Mike Costarella, vindy.com, March 13, 2012:

PDF: “Investigation of Observed Seismicity In the Horn River Basin [Canada], BC Oil and Gas Commission, August, 2012 :   http://www.bcogc.ca/node/8046/download

      For media inquiries, to contact speakers for media interviews, or for more information, please contact Frackfree Mahoning Valley at: 
234-201-0402   or e-mail:  frackfreemahoning@gmail.com

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Earthquakes and Youngstown Mayor's Inability To Stop Fracking In Parks and In Protected Drinking Water Source Area To Be Addressed At March 12 City Hall Press Conference 1:15PM

Frackfree Mahoning Valley                                             News Release
_______________________________________________________
For Immediate Release:  March 11, 2014
Susie Beiersdorfer:  Phone: 234-201-0402  or 330-881-1050 or E-mail: slbeiersdorfer@neo.rr.com
 ______________________________________________________

A PRESS CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD BY FRACKFREE MAHONING VALLEY IN YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO, ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12, 2014, AT 1:15 PM, ON THE SIDEWALK OUTSIDE OF YOUNGSTOWN CITY HALL
GEOLOGY PROFESSOR, DR. RAY BEIERSDORFER, WILL GIVE UPDATED SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE FIVE EARTHQUAKES THAT OCCURRED ON MARCH 10 and 11, 2014, NEAR A HORIZONTAL FRACKING OPERATION IN POLAND TOWNSHIP, OHIO, AND FRACKFREE MAHONING MEMBER, LYNN ANDERSON, WILL ADDRESS CONCERNS ABOUT MAYOR MCNALLY’S RECENT STATEMENTS REGARDING FRACKING IN YOUNGSTOWN CITY PARKS AND POSSIBLY IN THE CITY
ALL MEDIA ARE INVITED

Youngstown, Ohio, March 11, 2014 – Concerned citizens of Frackfree Mahoning Valley will hold a press conference to address the latest information, implications, and concerns regarding important issues for our community. 
       The press conference will be held in Youngstown, Ohio, on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at 1:15 PM, on the public sidewalk outside of Youngstown City Hall, 26 S. Phelps St.
       Geologist Ray Beiersdorfer, Ph.D., Professor of Geology at Youngstown State University, will answer questions and provide the latest scientific information that he has gathered about five earthquakes in Poland Township, Ohio that took place near a horizontal fracking well operation. 
       Lynn Anderson of Frackfree Mahoning Valley will address the following comments by Mayor McNally related to fracking within Youngstown city limits and why his comments are inaccurate or misguided. According to the Vindicator: “…McNally said he wouldn’t permit drilling in city parks …” and referencing “oil and gas development,” McNally said: “…the city administration has a responsibility to look at responsible ways to raise income to fund city operations …”    [Quotes are from the Vindicator, March 8, 2014, “Youngstown mayor mulls selling 20 Federal Place,” by David Skolnick at: ]
       Dr. Beiersdorfer and Lynn Anderson will make brief statements and address any media questions. After the question and answer period, the two speakers will deliver a packet of information to Mayor McNally’s office.
       Opening up heavy industrial fracking operations in the city of Youngstown is not responsible. There are too many risks to public health, safety, and well-being, including risks to property values and to the democratic process.
       For media inquiries or more information, please contact Frackfree Mahoning Valley at: 
234-201-0402   or e-mail:  frackfreemahoning@gmail.com

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READ MORE about earthquakes at fracking natural gas well east of Poland, Ohio HERE:
http://www.frackfreeamerica.org/1/post/2014/03/fifth-earthquake-shakes-youngstown-ohio-suburb-of-lowellville-east-of-poland-oh-march-11-2014-near-7-fracking-wells-of-2-hilcorp-company.html


With excellent timing, Youngstown State University has scheduled speakers already for March 25-28 (including Dr Ingraffea and Dr Beiersdorfer) AND ALSO will be screening Triple Divide film on March 28 at McDonough Museum
ENTIRE SCHEDULE HERE for this series of Marcellus Shale Documentary Project events:
http://www.frackfreeamerica.org/1/post/2014/03/marcellus-shale-documentary-project-travels-to-youngstown-state-university-ohio-march-3-april-4-2014.html 


CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE:




Saturday, February 15, 2014

SPEAK UP! An Open Public Townhall-style Meeting Will Be Held Friday Feb. 28, 2014 In Youngstown, Ohio

TWO ITEMS FOLLOW:

AN OPEN PUBLIC TOWNHALL-STYLE MEETING TO DISCUSS FRACKING, TOXIC FRACKING WASTE INJECTION WELLS, LOCAL SELF-GOVERNANCE AND MORE WILL BE HELD ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 IN YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO,

AND
THE YOUNGSTOWN COMMUNITY BILL OF RIGHTS COMMITTEE OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES THAT IT SURPASSED ITS GOAL OF COLLECTING THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF VOTER SIGNATURES TO PUT A COMMUNITY BILL OF RIGHTS CHARTER AMENDMENT QUESTION ON THE MAY 2014 BALLOT

Youngstown, Ohio, February 14, 2014 – Thousands of Youngstown, Ohio voters have again indicated via their petition signatures that they want to vote in May, 2014 on whether or not to ban fracking within Youngstown city limits and to uphold their unalienable right to local control and self-governance to protect their public health, safety, well-being and the democratic process.

The group says that voters want to decide how they want their communities to be. It is their right.

The Youngstown Community Bill of Rights Committee is pleased to officially announce that they have surpassed their goal of collecting enough signatures on their petitions to add a ballot question to the May, 2014 ballot in Youngstown. The signatures will now go through the required legal processes to create a ballot question.

“With our strong showing at the polls last time and our powerful base of almost 5000 Youngstown voters who voted YES for the Community Bill of Rights Charter Amendment in November, 2013, we fully expect to win this time. We only needed 6 percent more YES votes and we would have won last November. Especially as the nation is watching the West Virginia drinking water tragedy related to the coal industry unfold, and they see the shocking inadequacy and failure of state regulatory oversight and its disastrous results, the local community is increasingly concerned about the safety of our drinking water source, and rightly so. We need local self-governance that affirms our inherent rights to local control to protect public health, safety, and well-being,” said Susie Beiersdorfer, a Frackfree Mahoning Valley and Community Bill of Rights Committee member.

The Community Bill of Rights Committee and supporters of Frackfree Mahoning Valley say that the truth about the realities of fracking and related processes and infrastructure and their high risks to our public health, safety, and well-being and to our democratic process is becoming clearer every day. In addition, there is loss of property values and private property rights as in forced pooling and unitization. Numerous and almost daily news reports cover accidents, irregularities, and suffering related to fracking and related processes and infrastructure

Despite continual news reports, both local and national, of adverse situations and suffering, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) continues to misguidedly permit toxic fracking waste injection wells and other fracking related infrastructure near homes and other densely populated areas. Issues related to the protection of the drinking water source for over 200,000 people – Meander Reservoir, fracking-related concerns about Mill Creek Park, injection wells built in Niles, and the risk of injection well-related earthquakes are ongoing concerns for the community.

The group says that despite their oppositions’ exorbitant spending against the charter amendment and oppositional efforts in what the group believes is an attempt to stifle the Community Bill of Rights positive message, the supporters of the Community Bill of Rights Charter Amendment are gaining ground because the truth always resonates. The Community Bill of Rights supporters received a tremendous amount of positive feedback as they canvassed door to door. The Community Bill of Rights Committee expects to gain even more ground this time – enough to win.

“We are asking voters to please vote “YES” in May, 2014 to protect our water, air, and soil, and to affirm all citizens’ fundamental rights to local control and to protect the public’s health, safety, and well-being. Inherent fundamental rights are always enforceable,” said Susie Beiersdorfer.
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Frackfree Mahoning Valley, Frackfree America National Coalition (based in Youngstown), and members of the Youngstown Community Bill of Rights Committee announce that they will officially kick off their public awareness campaign by having an open, public townhall-style meeting on Friday, February 28, 2014. The townhall will include a screening of some brief films, a brief presentation by geologist Ray Beiersdorfer, Ph.D., Professor of Geology at Youngstown State University, and – sure to be lively – open discussion where attendees can ask questions, voice their concerns, share information, and offer positive solutions.

All media, the general public, first responders, health professionals, attorneys, public officials and representatives, and all others are invited to attend this very important, free townhall meeting.

The townhall program is titled, “Man-made Earthquakes, Toxic Fracking Waste Injection Wells, Open Fracking Waste Impoundment Pits, and What a Community Bill of Rights Means for Communities: Finding Common Ground, not Shaky Ground.”

The public townhall-style meeting will take place on Friday, February 28, 2014 at 7 PM to 9 PM at The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown, located at 1105 Elm St., Youngstown, Ohio. (Elm & Illinois.)

The groups plan to reach out to other Ohio communities and other states to address common concerns including those issues that they say state regulators have failed to address adequately for the public.

For example, many citizens locally and nationwide have expressed their highly valid concerns about public health and safety and democratic process risks associated with heavy industrial fracking-related operations and also to the underground injection of millions upon millions of gallons of toxic fracking waste that are constantly being created by the unconventional fracking process.

Where will all of the massive amounts of toxic fracking waste go? There is no good solution to this problem other than stopping the creation of more waste in the first place. Ohio is not a dumping ground for toxic fracking waste, nor are any other states. No one and no community is expendable.

Another item to be discussed will be newly allowed impoundments for fracking waste in Ohio. Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FFM) cites the lack of transparency and the lack of easily accessible public information about the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) allowing (as of January 1, 2014) football field-sized open toxic fracking waste impoundment “lagoons.” The group says that they have no confidence in ODNR’s stated intentions to allow public comment or even listen to public concerns about the lagoons or other new rules. FFM says they are not waiting for ODNR’s timetable, and that ODNR’s track record of lack of transparency about issues such as this is alarming and needs to be highlighted.

All people and communities are encouraged to attend the free townhall meeting to discuss what they and their local representatives can do to proactively protect their public health, safety, well-being, and fundamental rights.

The February 28, 2014 Youngstown townhall meeting details and printable flyer are at the following url:
http://www.frackfreeamerica.org/1/post/2014/02/public-town-hall-fri-feb-28th-7-9-pm-uuyo-first-unitarian-universalist-church-1105-elm-st-youngstown-oh-44505.html

For media inquiries or more information, please contact the group via Frackfree Mahoning Valley at:

234-201-0402 or e-mail: frackfreemahoning@gmail.com

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