Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Youngstown, Ohio, City Council Could Rush To Rash & Misguided Decision To Lease Fracking Mineral Rights Oct. 3, 2012

Frackfree Mahoning Valley: Second Statement (9/26/12)
RE: Youngstown City Council fracking vote:


First of all, thank you and kudos to the Youngstown, Ohio, City Council members who listened to their constituents, heard their concerns and did the right thing.

On September 19, 2012, some members of the Youngstown City Council wisely postponed the vote to greenlight fracking in the city of Youngstown, perhaps, out of their legitimate concern for the need for more due diligence, transparency, and public education before leaping blindly into a serious decision that would affect Youngstown and the surrounding area – including other states and Canada.

Delaying the vote was the responsible thing to do. Thank you.

This issue is not over even though the vote was postponed. Now the vote could be set for October 3, 2012. We must again urge the Youngstown City Council to vote to delay the vote and to hold a series of public hearings, preferably televised, on the topic in question.

For the record, Frackfree Mahoning Valley, a group of concerned citizens from Youngstown and the surrounding area, opposes fracking and related processes since fracking cannot be done safely with the technology as it stands today.

On September 19, 2012, the mayor of Youngstown, Ohio, Mayor Sammarone, made an impassioned, some might say desperate, plea for money that was broadcast in the following WKBN – TV 27 news report:

According to the WKBN-TV report, quoting Mayor Sammarone:

“‘Mr. Hagan, if you want to help us, get us money,’ Sammarone said. ‘That’s what we need in the city of Youngstown, money.’ “

(See:  “Council Meeting Heats Up Over Drilling in Youngstown”, WKBN – TV 27 first News, September 19, 2012, updated September 20, 2012:  ) 

As the old saying goes, desperate people do desperate things, and we believe that putting the public interest, health and safety in jeopardy in order to recklessly rush into an agreement for fracking, because it is said that the city needs money, is a desperate thing to do, even if the intentions of the Mayor are good.  Other, more creative ways to solve this problem should be explored.

Furthermore, Youngstown, Ohio is the current epicenter of induced seismicity, otherwise known as man-made earthquakes. To even consider allowing fracking within the city limits is astounding in light of recent history.

UPDATE! UPDATE! Mayor Sammarone's remarks Jan. 11, 2012, "... but until everybody feels safe and comfortable whether you are in your house or working downtown or you are located anywhere within the city or in the suburbs I am still going to hold the state to a ban on drilling until all this information is gathered and everybody feels safe, that's the most important thing" (First 2 minutes at )

Allowing fracking in the city will increase the production of millions of gallons of toxic fracking “brine” waste which may be disposed of in toxic “brine” fracking waste deep injection wells in the Youngstown area, which is now an earthquake zone due to previous injection that disturbed the equilibrium of an ancient fault.  

The mayor spoke with CNN correspondent Poppy Harlow soon after the now famous 4.0 magnitude, December 31, 2011, earthquake.  According to the CNN news report of January 12, 2012, Youngstown Mayor Sammarone told CNN Money reporter Poppy Harlow:

“I’ve lived there about 42 years. We never had an earthquake like that.” … ”When you feel unsafe in your own house, then it’s a serious situation.”

(You can hear Mayor Sammarone’s remarks, cited above, and the CNN Money news report by reporter Poppy Harlow, titled, “Ohio’s mysterious man-made earthquakes”, (1/12/12) here:   )

People were shocked after the 11 earthquakes leading up to the 4.0 magnitude earthquake, and rightly so. Mayor Sammarone was “worried,” according to the CNN report. 

We should not forget how we, as a community, felt at that time. We should question the wisdom of allowing fracking and more injection well disposal of “brine” toxic fracking waste in this area.

As the protest sign shown in the CNN report says, “We are Not Expendable.” 

Frackfree Mahoning Valley understands that Youngstown, like many cities nationwide, is in a budget crunch, but a better solution than greenlighting fracking should be found.

For the sake of the Youngstown community, families, children, grandchildren and future generations, we must get this decision right. There must be proper due diligence, public awareness and transparency.

We are concerned that this still has not yet taken place. Not all designated experts on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) are objective or impartial providers of vital information that the general public needs.

The Youngstown City Council’s decision must be scrutinized, publicized, intensely deliberated, and voted upon by a fully informed public, because not only does this decision profoundly affect Youngstown families and community, it is also a regional issue, and an international issue, since any resulting earthquakes from toxic fracking waste deep injection wells have the potential to be felt in surrounding states and even Canada, as shown by the reports from the December 31, 2011, Youngstown 4.0 magnitude earthquake, one of about 12 earthquakes in an area with no previously recorded quakes prior to operation of the Northstar # 1 injection well.

Frackfree Mahoning Valley offers our educational support for putting together a public, and it is hoped, televised forum where the community and surrounding states can hear what is being considered and where they can hear truly independent authorities on the risks and alleged benefits of fracking.

Important questions that have not yet been adequately addressed publicly include:

  • Where will the millions of gallons of toxic “brine” fracking waste that will necessarily be created by allowing increased fracking within the city limits, be disposed of in the Youngstown area? 
  • What are the planned locations for injection well disposal of toxic fracking waste?
  • Where will the fracking industrial operations and drilling rigs actually be placed in Youngstown?  How close to homes, parks, schools, cemeteries, forests, or sources of drinking water will they be located? 
  • Already, drilling is set to commence near Meander Reservoir, a source of drinking water for 300,000 people in the Youngstown area. This is an extremely unwise and irresponsible decision. Can we expect more decisions like this if drilling is greenlighted in Youngstown?
  • Earthquakes linked to the Northstar #1 fracking waste injection well have already taken place. What is the effect of even small, frequent earthquakes, like the ones already experienced in Youngstown, on the ability of the injection wells to maintain well integrity and protect drinking water sources? 
  • Who is testing the integrity of the injection wells and how often?
  • What about inspections of injection wells? See the following Scientific American excerpt that describes problems with injection well safety:

“"The program is basically a paper tiger," said Mario Salazar, a former senior technical advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency who worked with its injection regulation program for 25 years. While wells that handle hazardous waste from other industries have been held to increasingly tough standards, Salazar said, Class 2 wells remain a gaping hole in the system. "There are not enough people to look at how these wells are drilled … to witness whether what they tell you they will do is in fact what they are doing." “

See: “Safety Rules for Fracking Disposal Wells Often Ignored The growing number of wells used to dispose of wastewater from fracking are subject to lax oversight” “By Abrahm Lustgarten and ProPublica | Thursday, September 20, 2012”, Scientific American :

  • Will there be an increased probability of fracking-related earthquakes?  (The answer is, most likely, yes.)
  • What is the likelihood that drinking water sources will be affected or contaminated?
  • Where is the plan for Youngstown to protect water sources from fracking operations?
  • What will the increased truck traffic do to our quality of life in Youngstown?  
  • Where is the plan for preventing expensive road damage in Youngstown which could run up an enormous bill for Youngstown taxpayers?  See the following video from Pennsylvania that shows increased truck traffic in one city.
  • Also, please see the cost of Texas road damage from trucks in the following news report.  If Youngstown needs money, this is not the way to get it.  We need to pay attention to what is happening in other states.: “Posted Tuesday, Jul. 03, 2012 Updated Tuesday, Jul. 03, 2012, … By Barry Shlachter Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Drilling trucks have caused an estimated $2 billion in damage to Texas roads" By Barry Shlachter,
This list of relevant and necessary questions could go on and on. Public input is needed. What do the constituents want to know about what may take place in their neighborhood? What are the risks associated with fracking and related processes? They deserve to know before it happens, and to have a say in what might happen in their local community, although Frackfree Mahoning Valley believes fracking should not take place for reasons cited above.

Frackfree Mahoning Valley sent an e-mail (a copy of the e-mail message is included below) to Youngstown City Council after the Public Utilities Committee meeting on September 18, 2012 where a representative from the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) spoke to them about hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

There were some presenter omissions and, we believe, inaccuracies, that need to be addressed as a part of adequate due diligence before Youngstown City Council makes such a serious decision about leasing Youngstown’s mineral rights for fracking.

In addition, when asked by a City Council member about earthquake issues, the OOGEEP presenter urged Council to ask the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) about earthquakes because she could not answer those questions.

As far as we know, a public meeting with an ODNR official about the unanswered questions has not yet occurred.  There must be time allowed to invite ODNR, as recommended by the OOGEEP presenter, and to do the requisite due diligence to protect the public interest.

Again, the e-mail sent to Youngstown City Council by Frackfree Mahoning Valley is shown below at the end of this statement.
In Summary:
To open up Youngstown for fracking is a serious decision that should not be rushed into lightly or recklessly, as now seems to be the case.

What kind of mess are we leaving for our children, grandchildren, and future generations to clean up if we allow fracking to continue?  We as a community must stop this reckless pursuit of money, at any cost, before it causes irreparable and irreversible harm to the public health, safety and well-being.   Negative health effects may not manifest right away – sometimes taking years, but that doesn’t mean that adverse health effects are not taking place. 

There is a great need now to hear from physicians, nurses, and other public health and medical professionals about their assessment of the risk of adverse health effects of fracking and related processes. To date, we know of no medical professionals that have addressed Youngstown City Council.  Why?  This needs to happen.

We owe it, not only to ourselves, but also to our children to make the right decision regarding leasing mineral rights.  Youngstown City Council members are entrusted to represent and to uphold the fundamental, inalienable rights of their constituents to clean air, clean water, and land. Council must take the required time to protect the well-being, public health, and safety of our community and its families and future generations.  It is their duty.

Therefore, as a partial solution, we must:

Delay the vote. Increase transparency and increase valid due diligence.  Truly educate the public by holding televised true public, honest  dialogue and a series of public hearings  with independent, objective  experts, physicians, public health professionals, citizens, and authorities. 

We cannot jeopardize the public health for some quick cash. This decision could forever change our local area from residential or rural to heavy industrial.  Does the community really want that?  We think not.

How can voters make an informed decision about whether or not to allow fracking in their neighborhoods if polls reportedly show that many people (62 percent in one poll) don’t even know what fracking is?  They can’t, which is why there needs to be a valid public awareness campaign in the public interest, and fast. 

We believe that when the public genuinely understands the consequences and detriments of fracking, and not only the alleged benefits touted by those with vested interests in perpetuating fracking and related processes, they will join the anti-fracking side of the argument in large numbers.

After making objective fracking information available to the public, a vote should be put on the ballot for the public to decide for themselves the nature of their local community.  After the public is truly informed about the damage fracking and related processes have caused in other states that are further along than Ohio in the process, they will be in a better position to make a real, informed decision regarding the risks and “benefits” of fracking. 

The truth about fracking risks is not the rosy picture that is painted by slick, expensive gas and oil drilling advertisements that are broadcast continually on national and local TV and radio. These overly optimistic and, we believe, disingenuous portrayals, which neglect to tell the public about the high level of adverse risks of fracking and related processes, are simply too good to be true. 

It is also irresponsible and a disservice to the community to only present the alleged “benefits” of fracking while failing to present known detriments and risks of fracking and related processes.  Why is the industry, apparently, avoiding or evading discussion of the risks?  The general public, and members of Youngstown City Council, deserve to know the risks in order to make a truly informed consent or rejection of fracking and related processes in their neighborhoods.  It is the responsible thing to do.

SEE our previous press release here:

SEE our previous statement /open letter here:

An e-mail sent to Youngstown City Council on September 19, 2012,  follows:

To: Youngstown City Council, Mayor Sammarone
From: Frackfree Mahoning Valley
                                                             234-201-0402 or
RE: Objective sources included below to correct inaccuracies and omissions in the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) presentation to the Public Utilities Committee: September 18, 2012

There is also a link to our open letter of September 18, 2012, to Youngstown City Council at the website URL cited above.

Thank you for the opportunity to ask questions of the speaker last evening. This is a good step forward to the kind of dialogue that we would like to see among experts, scientists, physicians and public health professionals, council, and the general public.

There were a number of inaccuracies and omissions in the presentation by Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) to City Council last evening.

The presenter also was unable to answer several questions regarding the Youngstown injection well-related earthquake. She referred Council to ODNR. We hope that you will please follow-up on the earthquake, fracking waste, and injection well questions that were left unanswered by the presenter last evening. This is a very important topic for Youngstown, as you know.

We are including a few objective and reliable sources of information below to correct the record.

We hope that you will please take some time to review these materials. Particularly, the presentation by Dr. Anthony Ingraffea will make clear the difference between conventional and unconventional drilling and how unconventional hydraulic fracturing is a new technology.

If you want more information, we would be happy to offer educational support to Youngstown City Council and/or the Public Utilities Committee. It would be good to have an open forum where these kinds of presenter misrepresentations, whether intentional or unintentional, could be corrected during the meeting, rather than the day afterward.

And, again, thank you for the opportunity to voice our questions and concerns.

Thank you in advance for reviewing this material.

Concerned Citizens of Frackfree Mahoning Valley

Please see:

Dr. Anthony Ingraffea (bio below) discusses the differences between conventional vs. unconventional drilling. He also discusses issues with designating the year 1947 as the beginning of hydraulic fracturing. This is a very important video that speaks directly to issues raised last evening:

RE: The presenter mentioned Frac Focus as a resource for Council. Here is a recent Bloomberg article about Frac Focus.
Fracking Hazards Obscured in Failure to Disclose Wells By Benjamin Haas, Jim Polson, Phil Kuntz and Ben Elgin - 2012-08-14T22:26:29Z
[excerpt from full article:]
“Seeking to quell environmental concerns about the chemicals it shoots underground to extract oil and natural gas, Apache Corp. (APA) told shareholders in April that it disclosed information about “all the company’s U.S. hydraulic fracturing jobs” on a website last year.
Actually, Apache’s transparency was shot through with cracks. In Texas and Oklahoma, the company reported chemicals it used on only about half its fracked wells via, a voluntary website that oil and gas companies helped design amid calls for mandatory disclosure."

RE: Bainbridge, Ohio, incident mentioned by the presenter:
[Excerpt from full article at the following url] “Bainbridge officials to meet tonight on home explosion Published: Monday, December 17, 2007, 4:15 PM Updated: Monday, December 17, 2007, 4:56 PM By Kaye Spector, The Plain Dealer
Bainbridge Township -- A natural gas explosion that rocked an English Drive home early Saturday will be the topic of a meeting at town hall tonight.
The freak explosion - which officials say was caused by natural gas bubbling into Richard and Thelma Payne's well water - literally lifted the English Drive house off its foundation before dropping it down, Fire Chief Brian Phan said. "
Additional reports and articles:

[GAO Report:] “Drinking Water Safeguards Are Not Preventing Contamination From Injected Oil and Gas Wastes RCED-89-97, Jul 5, 1989”

“Cracks in the Façade …” Dusty Horwitt, Senior Counsel, Environmental Working Group, August 3, 2011:

Please also see videos, articles, and reports at the end of Update 1 at:

Bio for Dr. Anthony R Ingraffea follows:
  • Dept: Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Title: Dwight C. Baum Professorship in Engineering
  • Address: 322 Hollister Hall
  • Phone: 607 255-3336
  • email:
Dr. Ingraffea spent two years as a structural engineer with the Grumman Aerospace Corporation and two years as a county engineer with the Peace Corps in Venezuela before he began doctoral studies. He has taught structural mechanics, finite element methods,and fracture mechanics at Cornell since 1977.

Dr. Ingraffea's research concentrates on computer simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes. He and his students performed pioneering research in the use of interactive computer graphics in computational mechanics. He has authored with his students over 200 papers in these areas. He has been a principal investigator on over $35M in R&D projects from the NSF, NASA Langley, Nichols Research, NASA Glenn, AFOSR, FAA, Kodak, U. S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, IBM, Schlumberger, Digital Equipment Corporation, the Gas Research Institute, Sandia National Laboratories, the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, General Dynamics, Boeing, Caterpillar Tractor, and Northrop Grumman Aerospace.

Professor Ingraffea was a member of the first group of Presidential Young Investigators named by the National Science Foundation in 1984. For his research achievements he has won the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics "1994 Significant Paper Award" for one of five most significant papers in the category of Computational/Analytical Applications in the past 20 years, and he has twice won the National Research Council/U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics Award for Research in Rock Mechanics (1978, 1991). His group won a NASA Group Achievement Award in 1996, and a NASA Aviation Safety Turning Goals into Reality Award in 1999 for its work on the aging aircraft problem. He became a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1991.

Professor Ingraffea has received numerous awards for his outstanding teaching at Cornell. He received the first Society of Women Engineer's Professor of the Year Award in 1997, the 2001 Daniel Luzar '29 Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Engineering, and, in 2005, was named Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell University. He has been a leader in the use of workstations and information technology in engineering education, with grants from the NSF, U.S. Department of Education, Digital Equipment Corporation, Sun Microsystems, and Hewlett-Packard in these areas. He organized and was the first Director of the NSF-supported, $15M Synthesis National Engineering Education Coalition, a team of eight diverse engineering colleges. Synthesis developed, implemented, and assessed innovative programs and technologies to improve the quality of undergraduate engineering education and to attract and graduate larger numbers of women and under-represented minority engineers. He was Cornell Co-PI on a NASA/NYS/AT&T sponsored project to develop an Advanced Interactive Discovery Environment for collaborative distance design in engineering education, teaming with faculty from aerospace, mechanics, and civil engineering from Cornell and Syracuse universities.

He was named Co-Editor-in-Chief of Engineering Fracture Mechanics in 2005, received the ASTM Irwin Award for meritorious contributions to the practice of fracture mechanics in 2006, and was named a Fellow of the International Congress on Fracture in 2009. In 2011, TIME Magazine named him one of its "People Who Mattered".

Research Interests
The Cornell Fracture Group members include Prof. Tony Ingraffea, research associates, and graduate students. The mission of the Cornell Fracture Group is to create, to verify, and to validate computational simulation systems for fracture control in engineered systems. An equally important focus of the group is education at all levels. Our current and past research has focused on both experimental testing and numerical simulation of fatigue and fracture in a variety of materials.

Teaching Interests
I believe that pedagogy, the "how" that one teaches, is as important as "what", or the content, one teaches. Further, pedagogy must be consistent with content and the "why", or the values sought in content. I know from my teaching experience, and from the literature of educational psychology, that clarity of presentation, responsiveness to student needs, and, most importantly, remembering what it was like to be a student, are the most important aspects to effective pedagogy. I continue to explore the use of informational technology tools to improve clarity and responsiveness. I hope I will never forget how I thought, how I learned, and how I felt about my professors when I was a student.

Service Interests
1. Outreach via informal education of the public, policy makers, and regulators on technical issues related to unconventional development of natural gas.
2. K-12 STEM education.

Selected Publications
  • Howarth, R., R. Santaro, Anthony R Ingraffea. 2012. "Venting and Leaking of Methane from Shale Gas Development: Response to Cathles et al." Climatic Change .
  • Hochhalter, JD, DJ Littlewood, MD Veilleux, JE Bozek, AM Maniatty, AD Rollett, Anthony R Ingraffea. 2011. "A geometric approach to modeling microstructurally small fatigue crack formation: III. Development of a semi-empirical model for nucleation." Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering 19 (3): 035008.
  • Spear, A., A. Priest, J. Hochhalter, M. Veilleux, Anthony R Ingraffea. 2011. "Surrogate modeling of high-fidelity fracture simulations for real-time residual strength predictions." AIAA Journal 49 (12): 2770-2782.
  • Santoro, R., Robert Warren Howarth, Anthony R Ingraffea. 2011. "Indirect emissions of carbon dioxides from Marcellus shale gas development". A technical report of the Agriculture, Energy, and Environment Program at Cornell University.
  • Cerrone, A., G. Heber, P. Wawrzynek, P. Paulino, Anthony R Ingraffea. 2011. "Modeling Microstructurally Small Fatigue Cracking Processes in an Aluminum Alloy with the PPR Cohesive Zone Model." Paper presented at EMI 2011 Proceedings, Boston, MA
see more publications
Selected Awards and Honors
  • Two 2011 Citations in the category of Sustainable Community Development (Sustainable Tompkins) 2011
  • Fellow, International Congress on Fracture 2009
  • Richard J. Almeida Award, Project High Jump 2008
  • George R. Irwin Medal (American Society for Testing and Materials) 2006
  • Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow (Cornell University) 2005
  • BS (Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering), University of Notre Dame, 1969
  • MS (Civil Engineering), Polytechnic University, 1971
  • Ph D (Civil Engineering), University of Colorado, 1977

For media inquiries or more information, e-mail: or call:

Also see:
Frackfree America National Coalition
e-mail: call: 234-201-8007


                                                       # # #

Mahoning Fracking Rig Drive-through Held By Concerned Citizens

You have to see it to believe it!

UPDATE VIDEO: 3 min. Blockade at Meander Reservoir Fracking Well

Blockade at Meander Reservoir Fracking Well on Sunday, October 14, activists with Frackfree Mahoning Valley protested this well site and formed a blockade at the entrance of the site, refusing to move. They arrived at 10:30 a.m. and after more than four hours of blockading the entrance, activists decided to peacefully resolve the blockade with no arrests or confrontations. Fracking contaminates ground and surface water. An internal industry report found that six percent of wells have leaks immediately upon completion. Fracking uses a secret blend of toxic chemicals to shatter rocks deep within the Earth. Those chemicals can contaminate the water through negligence and through mechanical failure. No matter the safety record of a company—in this case Console Energy—wells fail, and overtime all wells break, becoming sources for water contamination. The Cadle fracking well site sits less than 100′ from a stream—a direct tributary of the Meander Reservoir. The Ohio EPA is responsible for the environmentally protected zone. The ODNR should have consulted with the Ohio EPA before granting the permit for this well. This action comes just days before Youngstown City Council will decide whether or not to lease city lands for fracking.


A group plans to protest the horizontal well being drilled in Jackson Township beginning at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, Oct 14, 2012. The Cadle well has been drilled within the environmentally protected zone that protects the Meander Reservoir f rom contamination. The well is located on Blott Road just east of the intersection with South Bailey Road.  The protest is organized by Frackfree Mahoning Valley and will include students and professors from Youngstown State and Kent State universities, Oberlin and Hiram colleges, and University of Akron. MORE:

Concerned Citizens Mahoning Valley Watershed Hold Drive-Through at Fracking Gas Drilling Rig, Thurs., Sept.. 27, 5-6pm

There is now a horizontal fracking rig in the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District's Drinking Water Protection Area.
It has been placed on the banks of a stream that runs directly into Meander Reservoir.
is being held Thurs., Sept. 27, 5-6pm (or by appointment)
where rig information will be distributed,
along with contact information which may be used to inquire
as to whether the district, the emergency responders and the operators are prepared for a blow-out.
If you are a water customer in Niles, Youngstown, Girard, Austintown, Boardman or Canfield-
 you must


Concerned Citizens Mahoning Valley Watershed Hold Drive-Through at Fracking Gas Drilling Rig, Thurs., Sept.. 27, 5-6pm

Concerned Citizens Mahoning Valley Watershed Hold Drive-Through at Fracking Gas Drilling Rig, Thurs., Sept.. 27, 5-6pm

Concerned Citizens Mahoning Valley Watershed Hold Drive-Through at Fracking Gas Drilling Rig, Thurs., Sept.. 27, 5-6pm

Concerned Citizens Mahoning Valley Watershed Hold Drive-Through at Fracking Gas Drilling Rig, Thurs., Sept.. 27, 5-6pm

MAP (coordinates 41.0743127586642,-80.8826439770882 )

(coordinates 41.0743127586642,-80.8826439770882 )

well info from permit list:
#aAMY0001529 8/24/2012
Lot: 34
Sec: none

Exists: none
Civil Twp: JACKSON
Type: Plug back to horizontally drill
Purpose: OG Rig: RTAF
Formation(s): POINT PLEASANT
Acreage: 159.52
XCoord: 2445902
YCoord: 516964
County Rd: none
Ingress & Egress Township Rd: TR 160/BLOTT
Municipal Rd: none
State Rd: none


horizontal fracking rig is in the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District's Drinking Water Protection Area. It has been placed on the banks of a stream that runs directly into Meander Reservoir.

horizontal fracking rig is in the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District's Drinking Water Protection Area. It has been placed on the banks of a stream that runs directly into Meander Reservoir.
This horizontal fracking rig is in the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District's Drinking Water Protection Area. It has been placed on the banks of a stream that runs directly into Meander Reservoir.

1 Call your State Representatives:
Capri Cafaro: (614) 466-7182 / Joe Schiavoni (614) 466-8285
Sean O'Brien (614) 466-3488 / Bob Hagan (614) 719-3960

2. Call ODNR. Complain that Tom Tomastic should not have been planning this behind the backs of our local officials, including Ohio EPA in Twinsburgh. (614) 265-6922
3. Call the Governor. Tell him what you think. (614) 466-3555
4. Call the Lt Governor. Give her a piece of it as well. Same # as Governor.
5. Call All your local representatives. ALL OF THEM! LIST HERE:
6. Join us, October 3, 2012, at 5:30pm at the Youngstown City Council Meeting. City Hall, Phelps Street, 5th floor. WE MUST BE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR AT THIS IMPORTANT MEETING!
7. Add your name to the PETITION:
8. Share this on facebook >> on FB at >>

horizontal fracking rig is in the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District's Drinking Water Protection Area. It has been placed on the banks of a stream that runs directly into Meander Reservoir.
This horizontal fracking rig is in the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District's Drinking Water Protection Area. It has been placed on the banks of a stream that runs directly into Meander Reservoir.

1 Call your State Representatives:
Capri Cafaro: (614) 466-7182 / Joe Schiavoni (614) 466-8285
Sean O'Brien (614) 466-3488 / Bob Hagan (614) 719-3960

2. Call ODNR. Complain that Tom Tomastic should not have been planning this behind the backs of our local officials, including Ohio EPA in Twinsburgh. (614) 265-6922
3. Call the Governor. Tell him what you think. (614) 466-3555
4. Call the Lt Governor. Give her a piece of it as well. Same # as Governor.
5. Call All your local representatives. ALL OF THEM! LIST HERE:
6. Join us, October 3, 2012, at 5:30pm at the Youngstown City Council Meeting. City Hall, Phelps Street, 5th floor. WE MUST BE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR AT THIS IMPORTANT MEETING!
7. Add your name to the PETITION:
8. Share this on facebook >> on FB at >>
 This horizontal fracking rig is in the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District's Drinking Water Protection Area. It has been placed on the banks of a stream that runs directly into Meander Reservoir.

1 Call your State Representatives:
Capri Cafaro: (614) 466-7182 / Joe Schiavoni (614) 466-8285
Sean O'Brien (614) 466-3488 / Bob Hagan (614) 719-3960

2. Call ODNR. Complain that Tom Tomastic should not have been planning this behind the backs of our local officials, including Ohio EPA in Twinsburgh. (614) 265-6922
3. Call the Governor. Tell him what you think. (614) 466-3555
4. Call the Lt Governor. Give her a piece of it as well. Same # as Governor.
5. Call All your local representatives. ALL OF THEM! LIST HERE:
6. Join us, October 3, 2012, at 5:30pm at the Youngstown City Council Meeting. City Hall, Phelps Street, 5th floor. WE MUST BE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR AT THIS IMPORTANT MEETING!
7. Add your name to the PETITION:
8. Share this on facebook >> on FB at >>

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Markert Oct 3 Press Conference on Youngstown Leasing Mineral Rights

EVENT here on facebook:

The Hidden Costs of Leasing to Local Government: Public Banking another Solution to Blight

Howard Markert, Green Party Candidate for Mahoning County Commissioner, will be releasing an open letter to the Mayor and City Council of Youngstown regarding the potential costs to the taxpayers of Youngstown from leasing the City’s mineral rights; at the main entrance of the Mahoning County Courthouse today (Oct. 3, 2012)  at 3:30pm. Markert is opposed to shale gas extraction and supports a Citizen’s Rights based ban on shale gas extraction for Youngstown and Mahoning County and  will present an alternative way to combat blight and fund demolitions that does not risk the health and finances of Youngstown and Mahoning County residents.
The Presentation will take about 15 minutes and Howard will take questions at the conclusion.
Media Packets will be provided.

Dear Sir/Madam,
My name is Howard Markert; I am a homeowner and landlord in Youngstown’s 4th Ward. I am running for Mahoning County Commissioner and I am opposed to shale gas extraction, because I have done extensive research on the subject over the last three years. I would much rather live next to an abandoned house than a toxic waste zone or a heavy industrial site, and that is exactly what a shale gas drilling site is like. I would never have knowingly purchased my home or my rental properties next to an industrial site or any facility using hazardous materials as this would lower my chances for success. Having the city change the makeup of residential neighborhoods into industrial zones will have a significant detrimental effect on property values and quality of life and jeopardizes property owner’s rights to sell or refinance their homes, potentially increasing the number of foreclosures and blighted properties. The FHA/VA rule (4150.2 pg 7 part D) regarding gas wells reads:


Operating and abandoned oil and gas wells pose potential hazards to housing, including potential fire, explosion, spray and other pollution.

1. Existing Construction

No existing dwelling may be located closer than 300 feet from an active or planned drilling site. Note that this applies to the site boundary, not to the actual well site.


Please notice that this rule means 300 feet from the property line to the boundary of the drilling activity, which includes the entire well pad site and the horizontal bore. This is more restrictive than the Ohio Revised Code which allows wellheads in urban areas no closer than 300 from a structure and makes no mention of the underground wellbore. By allowing drilling in the city on city property that meets Ohio state law you are potentially creating more non-conforming properties in the city; when you consider that in the city the majority of new owner occupants over the last 5 years have used either an FHA or VA guaranteed mortgage, eliminating this option will have a devastating impact on property values and lead to further blighted homes.

In addition here are the names of banks which will not mortgage properties with mineral leases at all, based upon environmental risk, as per information gained from a mortgage broker: First Place Bank, Provident Funding, Citizens, GMAC, Wells Fargo , FNCB, Fidelity, FHA, First Liberty, &Bank of America. What is the impact of this when you consider the many lenders who won’t write mortgages under $75,000? For most buyers willing to consider Youngstown this means they are unable to find a traditional lender, limiting purchases to cash buyers and land contracts which further lowers property values. For existing homeowners this means it is much harder to refinance properties for home improvements increasing the blighted appearance of our neighborhoods and further reducing property values.

The following question was put to the Insurance Information Institute (NY), an insurance industry group:

Are there any homeowner insurance policies that cover damage resulting from seismic testing or drilling activities, whether occurring on land leased to the oil and gas company or on adjoining unleased land?
If a homeowner signs a lease and allows seismic testing or a gas well on his or her property, will his or her homeowner's policy be renewed, may it be cancelled for a change in circumstance or does the insurance company not mind because damage would be excluded from coverage?
Homeowners in upstate New York are unsure about their rights, obligations, and their ability to obtain insurance. 
  The I.I.I. responded: “We know of no insurance carrier that would provide coverage in this instance.“Mr. Bob Hartwig, Senior Vice President & Chief Economist at the Insurance Information Institute (NY) advised that if a landowner signed a seismic agreement to allow testing involving explosives to take place without notifying his insurance provider, he had significantly changed the conditions of his coverage; his insurance provider could potentially deny any claim based on that change in conditions. On the other hand, if the homeowner notified his insurance carrier of the seismic activities, he would most likely be cancelled, or at the very least, not renewed on the next renewal date. 

 Property Insurance: Attorney Randy Marcus notes that a number of insurance companies will not insure leased properties, or have substantially raised their premiums. And any insurance company can raise future rates or not renew policies on leased properties. And leases may remain operative, way beyond the terms in the lease agreement (“held by production”). As people have their insurance cancelled or simply cannot afford the premiums, they will enter into default on their mortgages and potentially walk away from their homes creating more blight.

Youngstown’s citizens have been told it’s all about the money and I do understand that, which is why I am concerned that there has been no public discussion of the potential costs to the city that come with increased drilling activity and if those costs equal or exceed any revenues (signing bonus & royalties) that the city hopes to gain.

So I am calling for a full financial analysis to be made public before the Council moves forward on the Mayor’s proposal. I submit the following information for inclusion in the analysis:

Many liability insurance policies exclude claims from gas and oil extraction, what is the status of the city’s policy and how much will it cost to get a rider that will cover such losses?

If the city has jurisdiction to prevent drilling on portions of the Meander Reservoir Watershed and does not do so what would be the estimated cost of remediation and or replacement of this valuable and vital resource and how would it be paid for? How long would remediation or replacement take?
i) Consider replacement drinking water

ii) Consider impact on tourism, businesses, and industry

iii) Consider contractual obligations for sales of water to other government entities and private corporations

“A water protection zoning ordinance is a regulatory control that typically places some restrictions or standards on activities conducted within a specified zone (such as the corridor management zone and/or the emergency management zone). Such ordinances enable municipalities to require people who live or work in this area to avoid contaminating the source of the MVSD’s drinking water. Ordinances can help ensure best management practices are being employed at local businesses and can help reduce the volume of contaminants stored within the protection area. The MVSD may want to consider working with the counties, townships, and municipalities in the protection area to develop zoning overlays that require specific standards for chemical storage, handling of waste materials, and other source control strategies.”

Source: page 33

I am even more concerned about the indirect costs to the city, many of which are detailed in the example below.


• Fire and EMS calls have increased as much as 30%.

• Response time has increased 45 to 60 minutes due to congestion and overworked volunteers.

• Traffic and traffic violations have increased. Law enforcement is stopping many  trucks but there are no extra funds to compensate for the increased workload.

• Municipalities are giving every well site an address for their emergency response services; this has required a re-addressing throughout the area in order for there to be consistency.


• 30% increase in police and fire dept. emergency response for traffic, DWIs, accidents, crimes.

• 10% of Probation Dept clients are from Texas and Oklahoma (along with 8-10% of those in jail). Of these clients, 95% of crimes are alcohol/drug related.

• Local governments are losing established staff to gas companies due to salary differences making the increased work load even more difficult to manage.

• Some volunteer fire departments are struggling to find enough volunteers for the new demand. There are no new funds from drilling companies to compensate for the increased workload.

• The Courthouse had to limit the number of people searching deeds at any one time because they were over-run with requests for information.

• Since local governments see almost no increase in tax revenue, but drilling increases the costs to local governments, some services have been cut. The court system is using more electronic monitoring of criminals on probation rather than keeping them in custody.

• The county is digitizing the county records.

• Municipalities find it difficult to find the time needed to respond to drilling issues with their current staffing levels.


Note: Many of the positive impacts mentioned in this report will not apply to the City of Youngstown as we have an abundance of available rentals (rents have not increased locally) and most of the businesses (hospitality & entertainment) that will gain the most benefits are located in suburban communities.

However, we will see an even higher level of crime due to existing availability of drugs and prostitution inside the city limits.

Thank you for considering this information in your decision making process.


Howard Markert

MORE INFO on Oct. 3 Youngstown City Council Meeting and how to contact them and /or sign petition HERE >

Joki Issues Challenge For Fracking Content To Be Included In His Play

Youngstown, Ohio, playwright, Robert Dennick Joki has issued a challenge to fractivists in facebook-"liking" distance to have fracking content included in his next re-write of his origanal play: If he gets 200 likes on the status linked below  before OCT 1st, he will write FRACKING into the plot line of this year's production of "How the Drag Queen Stole Christmas." And in the meantime, if you are looking for a fun evening out, check out  Rust Belt Theater Co. schedule at Calvin Center, 755 Mahoning Avenue  Youngstown, OH 44502 by calling or texting 330-507-2358 or (330) 747-8760 OR Find The Rust Belt Theatre on facebook:

Go To Facebook and "Like" This Status by Clicking HERE!

Monday, September 24, 2012

"I don’t want to leave my paradise." In Youngstown, Ohio.

October 5, 2012
Dear Editor of the Vindicator:
    Ever since I moved back to Youngstown in 1998, I have felt like I live in paradise.  My house sits on a piece of property on the west side of the city, and my backyard borders Mill Creek Park.    Despite the fact that I am only a few minutes away from the busy traffic on Mahoning Avenue and the freeway, I can walk in my yard and see beautiful deer, groundhogs, turkeys, squirrels, and songbirds.  In the middle of the night, I can hear barred owls calling back and forth to each other.  Although some people might not think that salamanders, toads, fish, frogs, and snakes are a big deal, I also feel lucky to find them on and near my property.  My home is a place of serenity to me. 
    I also have neighbors who are unbelievably wonderful.  Several times, on winter mornings after a big snowstorm, I have awakened to find that my neighbor across the street has shoveled my driveway. This summer, another neighbor, seeing that a tree had fallen in my backyard, came over and cut it up for me.  When I wasn’t feeling well, a woman one street over brought me dinner.  Some of my neighbors have become my good friends.  Like I said, I live in paradise.  And I know that my neighbors on the west side of Youngstown feel the same way I do.
    I have spent countless sleepless nights wondering what I will do if City Council allows fracking in Youngstown.  What will I do when the drilling results in earthquakes much like the ones caused by the injection well?  What will I do when the fish start dying like they did recently in Brookfield as a result of drilling?  What will happen to the deer if they drink fracking wastewater, which contains cancer-causing agents and radioactive elements?  What will happen to the owls when the air in my neighborhood becomes polluted?  Worst of all, what will happen to me, my neighbors, our children, and grandchildren?
    Why is it that the oil and gas industry is exempt from the Clean Air and Water Act?  Why do they have the right to poison my paradise?? 
    If  Mayor Sammarone and City Council think that people are moving out of Youngstown because of old, abandoned houses in their neighborhoods, wait until they see how many people move out when the gas industry starts poisoning our air and water. Fracking has already begun right near the Meander Reservoir, the source of our drinking water.
    I urge Youngstown residents to call the mayor and tell him not to sell our mineral rights to the oil and gas industry.  Youngstown needs jobs, but we don’t need jobs that pollute our land and water and kill our wildlife.  We need jobs that support green energy and keep Youngstown safe.
    I don’t want to leave my paradise. 
Chris Khumprakob
Glacier Heights
Youngstown, OH  44509
CALL - Stop Youngstown, Ohio, from fracking the City
Youngstown, Ohio, Mayor Charles P. Sammarone & Youngstown City Council on Wed., Oct. 17, 2012, must vote to NOTgreenlight the selling or leasing of Youngstown mineral rights
PLEASE CALL the Youngstown Mayor's Office and City Council Members DEMANDING they CEASE and/or DELAY this action of voting on this ordinace! City Council will vote on this ordinace at Wednesday's City Council meeting at 5.30 PM, EST.
OHIO: A horizontal fracking pad (2 drilled wells) is in the Mahoning Valley, Ohio, Sanitary District's Drinking Water Protection Area. It has been placed on the banks of a stream that runs directly into Meander Reservoir.
1) CALL your State Representatives:
Capri Cafaro: (614) 466-7182 / Joe Schiavoni (614) 466-8285
Sean O'Brien (614) 466-3488 / Bob Hagan (614) 719-3960
2) Call ODNR. Complain that Tom Tomastic should not have been planning this behind the backs of our local officials, including Ohio EPA in Twinsburgh. (614) 265-6922
3) Call the Governor. Tell him what you think. (614) 466-3555
4) Call the Lt Governor. Give her a piece of it as well. Same # as Governor.
5) Call All your local representatives. ALL OF THEM! LIST HERE:
6) JOIN us, October 17, 2012, at 5:30pm at the Youngstown City Council Meeting. City Hall, Phelps Street, 6th floor. WE MUST BE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR AT THIS IMPORTANT MEETING!
7) ADD your name to the PETITION:
8) SHARE on facebook at >>
9) INVITE to facebook EVENT
10) PLS Share >>

Charles Sammarone Mayor

Jamael Tito Brown President of Council

Terri D. Dawson Assistant City Clerk

Paul Drennen 5th Ward Fifth Ward Councilman

Annie Gillam 1st Ward First Ward Councilwoman

Lyndsey Hughes Director of Downtown Events

Valencia Y. Marrow Clerk of Council

L. Nathaniel Pinkard 3rd Ward Third Ward Councilman

Mike Ray 4th Ward Fourth Ward Councilman

T.J. Rodgers 2nd Ward Second Ward Councilman

John R. Swierz 7th Ward Seventh Ward Councilman

Janet Tarpley 6th Ward Sixth Ward Councilwoman

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

“Statement: Open Letter” by Frackfree Mahoning Valley to Mayor Charles Sammarone and Youngstown City Council: September 18, 2012

“Statement:  Open Letter” by Frackfree Mahoning Valley to Mayor Charles Sammarone and Youngstown City Council: September 18, 2012:   ((( permanent link )))


Youngstown, Ohio, 9/18/12 - According to the Youngstown, Ohio Vindicator (9/14/12), in an article titled, “Youngstown council to weigh fracking resolution,” by David Skolnick:
“The mayor is asking city council to support a resolution urging the state to have ‘stringent regulations’ on fracking while also seeking council’s approval to sell the city’s mineral rights.
Mayor Charles Sammarone’s resolution calls for the city to support oil and gas drilling, as permitted by the state, as long as Ohio officials ‘respect local concerns by protecting the citizens of Youngstown through stringent and effective regulation …’ ”

Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FFM), a group of concerned citizens from Youngstown, Ohio and the surrounding area, says that fracking and related processes cannot be made safe by implementing “stringent regulation.”
Frackfree Mahoning Valley says that the process is inherently unsafe, as indicated by a mounting number of scientific reports, news articles, and documents.   (Please see some of these reports, news videos, and articles at the following URL:   )

This is not solely an issue for Mayor Sammarone and the Youngstown City Council to decide without adequate due diligence that consists of open, public, preferably televised,  dialogue, among independent scientists, physicians and other health professionals, public health officials, the general public, lawyers, mortgage and insurance experts, and industry and business representatives.
Immediate increased transparency and public dialogue is necessary to safeguard the public interest.
Frackfree Mahoning Valley urges all Youngstown and surrounding area citizens to please attend the public meeting at Youngstown City Council on Wednesday, September, 19, 2012.
The adverse risks of fracking and related processes to the public health, safety, and well-being are too great to force them upon the public.

Wherever there is fracking there must be millions of gallons of toxic fracking wastewater produced. What are Youngstown’s plans to identify, test and dispose of this waste and other solid fracking waste?  It must go somewhere, and Ohio seems to be the state most preferred for dumping or disposal of Ohio’s or other states’ hydraulic fracturing – related waste. If the greenlight is given for fracking in the city, this will by definition mean that more waste in the Youngstown area will be created.  Where will it go?  What are the plans for disposal?

It has been established that the December 31, 2011, 4.0 magnitude earthquake that shook Youngstown, Ohio and was felt in numerous surrounding states and as far away as Canada, was linked to a fracking waste disposal deep injection well.
The Youngstown earthquake of December 31, 2011, was one of about 12 earthquakes in an area that never had reported earthquakes before the drilling.
The fact that surrounding states as well as areas in Canada reported feeling that 4.0 mag. earthquake, makes the decision that Mayor Sammarone and Youngstown City Council regarding whether or not to allow fracking and related processes in the city, an issue for all of the citizens in those states or province, as well as Ohio.  Have they been officially consulted? Not as far as we know.

It is irresponsible to allow fracking and/or disposal of fracking waste in the city for the latter fact alone.  There are too many unknowns about where geological faults lie and how to actually prevent fracking-related earthquakes.  Injection wells in the earthquake – related moratorium areas must not be started again.  Fracking waste disposal in those areas, at least, must be permanently banned. In addition, the so-called “brine” “saltwater” fracking waste must be independently, publicly, completely, and scientifically tested for all components of this substance.

“Stringent regulations” did not prevent the earthquakes, or other accidents that have taken place recently in Youngstown or the surrounding area.  One cannot make an inherently unsafe process safe by making more regulations. For example, asbestos was once thought to be safe for use by the public. Science later showed that asbestos is inherently unsafe. No amount of “strict regulation” will make asbestos safe.   This is the same with fracking and related processes. They are inherently unsafe and no amount of regulations will make them safe.

The following fracking – related accidents are not theoretical. This is happening now and must be adequately addressed. These incidents still remain unresolved.  If these kinds of spills or accidents are already happening before fracking and related processes are even taking place on a large scale in Ohio, what kinds of health risks and threats to drinking water will the general public face if the industry ramps up full speed ahead?  It must be delayed now.

Incidents of concern include but are not limited to:

-Fracking and injection well – related earthquakes:
CNNMoney: “Is drilling causing Ohio earthquakes?" By Poppy Harlow and Erica Fink @CNNMoney January 17, 2012: 11:13 AM ET”
[Especially see second video titled, “Ohio's mysterious man-made earthquakes”]

-A 5-mile long spill of “brine” waste near an injection well that was leaked from a truck on the road in Fowler. It is still not clear what that substance was composed of or how the incident occurred.   Reports show that “brine” waste can contain carcinogenic chemicals and naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM).  We should know what the community was exposed to as a result of this “brine water” truck spill. 
Weekend Brine Water Spill Reported in Fowler,” WKBN TV News (27),” Published: 7/11 5:46 pm Updated: 7/18 5:56 pm”

-Fish die in a Brookfield, Ohio pond. What exactly caused countless fish to die?  Consol Energy was cited by the EPA in relation to the runoff, according to the WKBN TV News report.
“Slag Runoff May Have Caused Brookfield Fish Kill,” WKBN TV News (27) “Published: 7/31 10:14 pm Updated: 8/01 8:11 pm”

-The Purple Cat spill – Coitsville, Ohio.   According to the Vindicator cited below: “The spillage drained into an open field near the well site and in the direction of a body of water behind The Purple Cat, the nonprofit, private agency that offers day programs and work opportunities for people with disabilities.”
“D&L faced violations in its past” Published: Mon, January 2, 2012 @ 12:03 a.m., by Karl Henkel, The Vindicator.

-The Ginsburg well. An Ohio well reported as having numerous serious violations is reportedly still operating.
"Teresa Mills and Heather Cantino - Injection Wells":

--Seismic testing allegedly caused damage to the courthouse building in Marietta, Ohio. Could this happen elsewhere and what are the exact risks of seismic testing on old pipes and structures?   Youngstown and other state and city officials should be looking at what happened in Marietta for “lessons learned,” as the title cited below says.  Seismic testing is going on currently in various parts of Ohio.  According to the Marietta Times article cited below, “…Slight damage occured [sic] in at least one local residence near Ohio 60 where the trucks were conducting their tests. And the seismic waves may be the cause behind a sewer pipe breaking in the new Marietta Municipal Court. The broken line caused sewage and water to leak into a storage area, damaging some records. City engineers say they are also concerned culverts along the way may have been damaged.”


“Seismic testing, lessons learned?”, July 14, 2012, The Marietta Times:

These kinds of incidents do not inspire public confidence in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) or other Ohio officials’ ability to safely regulate the gas and oil industry. These serious accidents make assurances given by officials regarding “stringent regulations” sound like false reassurances. Even small human errors can cause highly damaging consequences. Drinking water sources and public health should not be put in jeopardy.

The following news articles include information about why these kinds of decisions cannot be rushed through council without adequate due diligence and public notification of what is going on in their communities.  The public must have a real opportunity to voice their feedback and concerns.

An astounding example of the lack of thinking things through adequately when it comes to permitting fracking and related processes in Ohio is the drilling in the watershed of the Meander Reservoir.  This reservoir is a drinking water source for 300,000 citizens in our Mahoning Valley. Preparation for drilling has already begun.
This turn of events and the site chosen near Meander is astonishing, especially in light of a news report from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in August of 2012, where, according to Timothy Puko of  the Tribune – Review, cited below,  “A gas-drilling site leaked sediment above a drinking – water reservoir in Westmoreland County, leading state environmental regulators to issue a violation notice.”  (8/1/12)  The driller was reported to be Consol Energy, according to the news article.
“Drilling leak leads to violation notice”, by Timothy Puko, August 1, 2012, Tribune-Review:
Details about the drilling near Meander Reservoir and the location of the well “in the Meander Reservoir’s watershed”, according to the Tribune – Chronicle, are included in the following Tribune Chronicle article (9/14/12).  According to the Tribune – Chronicle article, CNX Gas Co. LLC is the driller of the horizontal well.
“Drilling commences at Mahoning County well: Opponents decry location”, September 14, 2012, By BRENDA J. LINERT

The Marcellus Drilling News reports that the watershed well “…is being drilled by CNX Gas (subsidiary of CONSOL Energy)”, which reportedly was issued a violation notice in the above-mentioned article describing the Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, drilling leak incident.
Is this the same company that will soon be drilling in the Meander watershed? This needs to be made clear. The public needs to know.
“CNX Gas Starts Utica Well in Meander Reservoir Watershed”, Marcellus Drilling News:

There is an urgent and great need to slow this entire process down while people educate themselves and learn the truth about what is going on in their residential neighborhoods when it comes to the gas and oil industry drilling. Drilling has even commenced or is being considered as an option near cemeteries, schools, homes, forests, and parks in various parts of the country.
Frackfree Mahoning Valley believes that promises of quick money for leasing mineral rights by the oil and gas drilling industry are clouding some peoples’ judgment regarding the dangers of fracking and related processes. Issues such as gas drilling- related eminent domain and mandatory or forced pooling need to be fully understood by the general public.
There is too much rushing to drill without the public’s full knowledge.  On too many occasions, the public is caught off guard by how swiftly drilling activities are moving into their neighborhoods near homes and schools. This is not right and must stop.

What’s the rush?

See:   “Fracking in Suburbia”,  [features Broadview Heights, Ohio]:
“Tuesday, 18 September 2012 10:09 By Andrew Spear and Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Video Report”:

Articles that address other states’ experiences with fracking and related processes show that even strict regulations are not always enforced.  Ohio is not adequately prepared to police spills, leaks, mechanical failures, and accidents that are already beginning to occur.  First responders, health professionals, and the general public need to know what exactly is in the fracking “brine” waste.
We in Ohio should be learning from residents’ experiences in other states with fracking and related processes rather than some people or officials ignoring or remaining unaware of other states’ problems and damages related to gas drilling and plunging blindly and recklessly, full speed ahead. This is foolish and irresponsible. It is a disservice to the community and a threat to public health and safety.

See:  “North Dakota’s Oil Boom Brings Damage Along With Prosperity” “by Nicholas Kusnetz, Special to ProPublica June 7, 2012, 11:47 a.m.”

Also see:  Update 1 – Many informative links to videos, articles, and reports can be found at the end of Update 1 at:
Also see:
[GAO Report:] “Drinking Water Safeguards Are Not Preventing Contamination From Injected Oil and Gas Wastes RCED-89-97, Jul 5, 1989”

“Cracks in the Façade …” Dusty Horwitt, Senior Counsel, Environmental Working Group, August 3, 2011:

These are just a few of the reasons why Mayor Sammarone and Youngstown City Council must delay the vote on fracking in Youngstown, Ohio, on Wednesday, September 19, 2012.

If this vote is not delayed in order for the Youngstown City Council to continue to do additional proper study and due diligence and to properly  inform the general public of the serious risks of fracking and related processes to the public health, safety, and well-being, Frackfree Mahoning Valley believes that such apparent willingness to rush into an agreement for oil and gas industry drilling or fracking in Youngstown, without adequate due diligence, will show that Mayor Sammarone and Youngstown City Council are not adequately protecting the public’s health, safety, and well-being.
 The health of our communities, citizens, families, and future generations must take priority in any decision-making regarding fracking and related processes. Too much is at stake for irresponsible, rash decisions to be made.
Delay the vote. It is the right thing to do.

For media inquiries or more information, e-mail: or call:
Also see:

Frackfree America National Coalition

e-mail: call: 234-201-8007


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Frackfree Mahoning Valley to Mayor Charles Sammarone and Youngstown City Council
"That this ORDINANCE is hereby declared to be an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, welfare and safety, the emergency being the necessity to authorize the Board of Control to seek competitive proposals and enter into a contract to lease city-owned land for oil and gas extraction..."
"All monies received from this activity will be used to fund economic development, demolition, and neighborhood improvement projects..." Read first page of ordinance HERE

"A RESOLUTION calling for stringent regulation by the state of Ohio on oil and natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing" "... so long as the [ODNR] respect local concerns by protecting the Citizens of Youngstown through stringent and effective regulation, and immediately respond to any and all inquiries from City of Youngstown governmental officials." Read first page of resolution HERE.

Frackfree Mahoning Valley calls upon Mayor & Council to delay fracking vote

Frackfree Mahoning Valley                    News Release


For Immediate Release: September 18, 2012

Contact: Susie Beiersdorfer: Phone: 234-201-0402 or E-mail:



Youngstown, Ohio, 9/18/12 - Frackfree Mahoning Valley, a group of concerned citizens from Youngstown and the surrounding area, released a statement on the Frackfree America National Coalition (  ) and the Frackfree Mahoning Valley (  ) websites on 9/18/12,  calling for a delay on the planned fracking-related resolution vote to take place at Wednesday’s Youngstown City Council on September 19, 2012.

Frackfree Mahoning Valley says that if Youngstown City Council votes to greenlight the leasing or selling of Youngstown’s mineral rights for gas and oil drilling, the door will be wide open for fracking and related processes in the city limits, which FFM strongly opposes based upon the high risks of fracking and related processes to drinking water sources, air quality issues, and public health and safety.

For more information about the resolution, please see:  “Youngstown council to weigh fracking resolution,” by David Skolnick, Youngstown, Ohio Vindicator (9/14/12):

Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FFM) says that proper due diligence on the fracking and injection well question has not occurred, as evidenced by the fact that independent scientists, physicians and other health professionals, public health professionals, the general public, lawyers, industry or business stakeholders have not yet testified in an open public televised forum, including public dialogue with experts, or before Mayor Sammarone and Youngstown City Council.

FFM says that greenlighting this high-risk and essentially experimental process of fracking and related processes and inviting the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to begin permitting fracking in Youngstown subjects the general public to an unacceptable level of risk to public health, safety, and well-being.  The group says that the public deserves to know what is being considered in detail before the city proceeds to do business with the gas and oil industry.  FFM also believes that when the public is adequately informed and aware of fracking and related processes, they will demand a stop to it and demand to be properly informed of potential risks and costs of proceeding.

FFM says that a failure to delay the vote would indicate to them that City Council is not adequately protecting the public health, safety, and well-being of Youngstown community families and citizens and those of the surrounding area.

“No amount of money for demolition of buildings is worth risking contaminating the public’s drinking water, more earthquakes, spills, leaks, or mechanical failures, which we are not adequately prepared to handle. Public officials must safeguard the public well-being and interest – not the monetary interests of the gas and oil drilling industry. To fail to adequately address these issues in a public forum is unconscionable. The risk to public health by fracking and related processes is great. We are renewing the call for televised open public dialogue with independent scientists and others, “said Tom Cvetkovich, concerned citizen of Youngstown, Ohio.

In Frackfree Mahoning Valley’s “Statement: Open Letter” posted at and, FFM lists local and nearby fracking-related accidents or incidents that have already occurred, some of which remain unresolved.   Those incidents include the recent 5- mile long Fowler “brine” spill, the Brookfield, Ohio, fish kill, and the Ginsburg well in Ohio, which has reportedly been repeatedly cited for violations since 1986, yet apparently, remains in operation.

The December 31, 2011, 4.0 magnitude Youngstown earthquake, one of about twelve in an area that had no reported earthquakes before drilling, is another example, according to FFM, of how the public health is not being safeguarded, as evidenced by the lack of a permanent ban on the injection wells in the moratorium area.  Frackfree Mahoning Valley is also demanding a permanent ban on injection wells in the moratorium area since they say there is a greater risk of more earthquakes if drilling or deep injection of toxic fracking waste goes ahead.  They say that based upon the history of other injection well earthquake incidents, more earthquakes may yet occur in the moratorium area since the ancient geological equilibrium has irreversibly been disturbed by the lubrication of the fault.

Frackfree Mahoning Valley says that the Ginsburg well and earthquake examples alone show why the widely touted “stringent regulations” in Ohio are failing to protect the public health and safety.

According to FFM, it was once thought that using asbestos was safe. Just as one cannot strictly regulate asbestos into becoming safe, one cannot regulate fracking and related processes and make them safe.  Fracking and related processes cannot be safely done with the state of the technology as it stands today, says FFM.

Any meetings with the gas and oil fracking industry should be done while the public is in attendance, the group says.  The public should be able to voice their concerns.

For media inquiries or more information, e-mail: or call:


Also see:

Frackfree America National Coalition

e-mail: call: 234-201-8007


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