A press release received late Monday from the Ohio Environmental Council:
The Ohio Environmental Council is praising the decisive response of the Kasich administration to the illegal dumping of an estimated 30,000 gallons of oil and gas drilling waste water into a storm sewer that drains to the Mahoning River near Youngstown.
Last week, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources ordered the immediate and permanent revocation of the operating permits of the Youngstown company connected to the event. The order covers injection wells operating in Trumbull and Ashtabula counties and three under construction: two in Mahoning County and one in Trumbull County.
The state also is considering criminal and civil charges.
In addition, a spill response team and investigators from Ohio EPA have been on the scene since the dumping was first discovered last week, directing containment and clean up efforts.
“Gov. Kasich had stated that he would not tolerate any illegal activity by the oil and gas industry, such as this shameless and blatant event. Gov. Kasich is making good on that pledge, and we thank him for that,” said Melanie Houston, Director of Water Policy and Environmental Health for the Ohio Environmental Council.
The permit holder, D&L Energy Group, is the same company that operated an injection well that triggered more than a dozen small earthquakes through late 2011 in the Youngstown area. The well was used to dispose of drilling waste.
The OEC said it will urge the Kasich administration and the General Assembly to pass a “Scarlet Letter law” to permanently bar from doing business in Ohio, any oil and gas industry operator found guilty of environmental crimes or repeated or flagrant violations of the law, in Ohio or another state.
“A Scarlet Letter law would stop dead in their tracks any bad actor from calculating any perverse risk vs. reward from tempting a flagrant or repeat crime,” said Houston.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.