Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Youngstown Citizens Urge ODNR TO Continue To Deny Fracking Waste Injection Well Permit in Earthquake Area

Frackfree Mahoning Valley                         News Release
For Immediate Release:  March 2, 2015
Susie Beiersdorfer:  Cell phone: 330-881-1050 or Phone: 234-201-0402
Frackfree Mahoning Valley says newly obtained public documents show that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) denied a Mahoning County injection permit based upon their finding that “ … the Khalil #3 saltwater injection well is located in close proximity to an area of known seismic activity”:
If ODNR has not already done so, Frackfree Mahoning Valley calls for ODNR to uphold this order despite company’s letter saying it will appeal the Chief’s Order:  
Frackfree Mahoning Valley is planning a Townhall – style, open public meeting on Friday, March 13, 2015, featuring a nationally renowned leader and speaker, to discuss these documents and what communities can do to protect their drinking water, air, land and public health, safety, and property values in relation to fracking waste injection wells and man-made earthquakes.
Youngstown, Ohio, March 2, 2015 – Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FFM) was made aware of two new, important Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) public documents showing that the state denied a permit for  injection of waste into a Mahoning County injection well based upon risks of man-made earthquake activity in Youngstown and the surrounding area. The ODNR “Order By the Chief” is dated September 24, 2014. 
       Teresa Mills, longtime environmental justice advocate, alerted Frackfree Mahoning Valley to the public records.
       The second document, dated December 1, 2014 to Chief Richard J. Simmers, is the response of Rex Energy (“parent company of R.E. Disposal LLC”) to ODNR’s injection permit denial.  The company’s letter mentions a possible appeal of the ODNR Chief’s order denying the company permission to inject waste.  
       The Rex Energy letter also includes a request for Chief Simmers to allow “us to make limited injections into the well during your work group’s deliberations, so that we can together gather information on seismicity associated with the injections.”  
       Copies of both documents can be found at the Frackfree Mahoning Valley website at:
       Frackfree Mahoning Valley’s response follows:
       Induced seismicity (man-made earthquakes) is a serious issue undergoing scientific scrutiny, not only locally, but worldwide.  We cannot forget that the highest magnitude earthquake, so far, that scientists link to injection was a magnitude 5.7 in Prague, Oklahoma in 2011.
       Frackfree Mahoning Valley calls for ODNR to stand by their September 24 decision to deny the injection permit based upon their finding that “the Khalil #3 saltwater injection well is located in close proximity to an area of known seismic activity.”  That was the correct decision and the right thing to do to protect the public health, safety, and public interest, including local property values and private property rights.
       It is astonishing that the company in question would request permission for “limited injections” despite ODNR’s original denial of the permit finding that this is an “area of known seismic activity.”  To us, it appears as though allowing “limited injections” would amount to experimenting and thereby gambling with the public health and safety of residents in order to provide data for a work group. This is immoral and highly misguided, to say the least.  Our local communities did not give official informed consent to be used in this way.  If they have not done so already, ODNR must deny any “limited injections” in order to protect the public interest.
       Furthermore, a February 17, 2015 Youngstown Vindicator article reports that a deep injection well in Weathersfield that apparently is linked to earthquakes and an earthquake “swarm” is being considered for reopening. That reopening the deep well would even be considered is astounding, reckless, and certainly not in the public interest. The well must remain closed. Additionally, because it is in an area of known seismic activity, the shallower well never should have been permitted to reopen and should be immediately closed, as well, in order to protect public health and safety.
       The continued injection of millions of gallons of fracking waste is putting the public health and safety of our communities at greater risk of man-made earthquakes.  This is too high a price to pay.
       This situation is getting worse – not better.  For example, despite Ohio state regulations after the magnitude 4.0 Northstar 1 injection well earthquake on December 31, 2011, there are now three man-made earthquake sites, documented by scientists, in the local area rather than just the one Northstar 1 site of 2011.  There is an additional site in Harrison County, Ohio. These facts support our belief that earthquakes cannot be regulated to make them safe or to keep them small.  Earthquakes cannot be regulated. 
       We do not think that citizens should be forced to adapt to man-made earthquakes.  We want the earthquakes and the injection of millions of gallons of fracking waste to stop. Did anyone ask the people whether they want to endure the high risks and costs of man-made earthquakes while companies try to control their magnitudes, essentially gambling with the public health and safety? The informed consent, or lack of consent, of the people was not sought beforehand. It should have been.   It is absurd to think that human beings can control earthquakes with 100 percent certainty.  The risks and costs are too high.  
       We believe that fracking cannot be done safely, or even fairly, with the technology as it stands today. Where is all of the fracking waste that is constantly being created going? There is no good, safe, or fair solution to this problem. The generation of millions of gallons and tons of fracking waste must stop. Ohio is not a waste dump.
       Frackfree Mahoning Valley is planning a townhall-style open public meeting in Youngstown, Ohio on Friday, March 13, 2015, where the general public and local officials can discuss the possible implications of these newly obtained documents and what communities can do to protect their families’ safe drinking water, air, land and public health, safety, and property values in relation to fracking waste injection wells and man-made earthquakes.
       Frackfree Mahoning Valley is finalizing plans to have a nationally renowned leader as the keynote speaker at this very important meeting. FFM will announce details of the upcoming townhall meeting in a separate news release.  All media and the general public are invited to attend.
       Interested citizens can call Frackfree Mahoning Valley at 234-201-0402 or e-mail at for more information.
        To see copies of the ODNR “Order By the Chief” dated September 24, 2014 and the company letter to ODNR please see: 
       The December 1, 2014, letter cited above can also be found at the following website:
For more injection well and earthquake related information please see the following links:
“Study says Weathersfield earthquake and injection well are linked   Expert: Seismic events dwindled after ODNR ordered shutdown,” by Ed Runyan, Vindicator, February 17, 2015:
       To see a February 3, 2015 WFAA news report (news video included) that aired in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area featuring the Youngstown area earthquakes please see:
 “The Fault Line: Ohio quakes offer lessons for Texas,” by Byron Harris, WFAA, “News 8 Investigates:”

For a November 14, 2014 article that addresses man-made earthquakes please see:
 “Scientists link over 1000 earthquakes to fracking or fracking waste injection wells in Ohio, yet the state of Ohio only lists 18 quakes on their website. Why? How can Illinois and other states benefit from Ohio’s experience with fracking induced seismicity?” November 14, 2014, article by Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer, Professor of Geology, Dept. of Geological & Environmental Sciences, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio:
       Information about injection wells in Weathersfield and Vienna, Ohio is included in the following article:
“Tremors trigger concerns about wells,” by Virginia Shank, February 22, 2015, Tribune Chronicle
       (The following GAO report includes information about “seismic activity.”)
“DRINKING WATER: EPA Program to Protect Underground Sources from Injection of Fluids Associated With Oil and Gas Production Needs Improvement,” U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), GAO-14-555, published June 27, 2014:
       For media inquiries or more information, e-mail:
Also see:

Frackfree America National Coalition based in Youngstown
                                                                   # # #
SPECIAL NOTE TO READERS: a lecture on injection wells and their waste products will be given Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 7pm  in Cushwa Hall, Room B112, 210 Lincoln Ave, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH 44503
*MAP * FREE and open to the public. There is FREE on-street parking after 5 p.m. at the metered parking spaces along Lincoln Avenue and nearby streets.
Lecture title: A Citizen Audit of Ohio Oil and Gas Waste Disposal Wells - LIVE Skype by Mr. Nathan Rutz, Communities United for Responsible Energy(CURE), Ohio Organizing Collaborative

EVENT on facebook:

No comments:

Post a Comment