Update 2:30: Nate has descended from the monopod under the threat of a potentially life-threatening extraction process, as well as the possibility of additional arrests of his supporters. Support brave action for environmental and climate justice — donate now!
Update 2:00: “Today is an unprecedented display of unity in the growing international movement against extractive industry. I came to Ohio from Deep Water Earth First! in Michigan to show solidarity with our neighbors fighting for their water and air. No fracking, no tar sands, no compromise!” – Jessica Clark, one of 10+ arrested activists. Donate now!
Update 1:50: At least ten activists arrested. Cops are discussing using tow trucks to bring down the monopod. Any efforts to tamper with the anchor lines could endanger Nate’s life. Nate is still holding strong. Support Appalachia Resist! and allies standing up to the poisonous and exploitative gas industry — donate now!
Update 1:25 p.m.: Police picking more protesters off of friendly neighbor’s property. At least two additional arrests and one additional detention. But the frack waste storage site is still shut down!!! Donations needed.
Update 1:13 p.m.: Police arrested one person for stepping across the friendly neighbor’s property line. Police pulled a second protester across the line and placed them under arrest. A sheriff just pinned a third protester to the ground and placed them under arrest, again on private property. Two of the arrested protesters have been told that they will be charged with breaking and entering, a fifth degree felony. Please support those who have put their bodies on the line today with a generous donation to the Appalachia Resist action and bail fund.
Update 1:00 p.m.: Police ordered activists away from their location across the street from the monopod, leaving Nate by himself on the site. Protesters are now gathering in the yard of a supportive neighbor who invited them onto her property. Police have ordered protesters further back on the neighbor’s property, forcing protesters to maintain a distance of thirty feet from the center road line. Protesters have moved all vehicles into a private parking lot under threat of being towed; the owner of the lot has said they are welcome to stay until Thursday.
Update 12:30 p.m.: Police have broken the locks on the front gates of the facility and are transporting the three detained activists offsite. Nate has dropped a banner from the monopod reading: “Greenhunter: Helping the Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Sicker.”
Update 12:15 p.m.: Police attempting to keep media away from protesters and have threatened to tow activists’ vehicles from public parking lot half a mile away from the frack waste storage facility. Police warning activists that tow trucks will arrive in 45 minutes.
Update 11:55 a.m.: Monopod is going strong, frack trucks remain unable to enter the site! Three activists still being detained inside the facility. Thirteen cop cars now on the scene.
Update 11:50 a.m.: One protester has spoken with a neighbor who is angry about all the toxic chemicals on her street and very happy that protesters are on the site. She has invited protesters into her yard.
Update 11:47 a.m.: About six activists sitting outside gate on property refusing to move.
Update 11:45 a.m.: Police liaison ordered across street under threat of arrest.
Update 11:40 a.m: Three anti-frack activists in handcuffs onsite.
UPDATE: 11:35 a.m.: The front gate has been opened. Cops are chasing activists from the site.
UPDATE: 11:33 a.m.: Six police vehicles on scene. Workers have removed banners and police are ordering protesters to leave the property. Two of the activists remaining inside the facility have been detained by police. Others are standing in front of the main gate which has been locked by activists. One fire truck is now on the scene surveying the monopod. The vice president of Greenhunter is onsite meeting with the sheriffs and the police.
UPDATE: 11:20 a.m.: Activists unfurled a banner on one of the frack waste trucks reading: “No Frack Waste By Truck, No Frack Waste By Boat, No Greenhunter Waste Down Ohio’s Throat.” #DrSeuss
UPDATE: 11:10 a.m.: Workers have come out of their trucks. The monopod is occupied with direct support at the bottom. Two police cars are on the scene.
Matamoros, OH, 10:00 am. Good morning! Along with Earth First! and other environmental groups, we have stopped truck traffic at the Greenhunter fracking waste facility in Matamoros, Washington County, along the Ohio River.
Nate Ebert, a 33-year-old Athens County resident and member of Appalachia Resist!, ascended a 30 foot pole anchored to a brine truck in the process of unloading frack waste, preventing all trucks carrying frack waste from entering the site.
Over one hundred supporters gathered at the facility, protesting Greenhunter’s plans to increase capacity for toxic frack waste dumping in Ohio. Greenhunter is seeking approval from the Coast Guard to ship frack waste across the Ohio River via barge at a rate of up to half a million gallons per load. The Ohio River is a drinking source for more than 5 million people, including residents of Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Test results from multiple frack waste samples reveal high levels of benzene, toluene, arsenic, barium, and radium, among other carcinogenic and radioactive chemicals.
“Our governor, legislature, and regulatory agencies have all failed in their obligation to protect Ohioans from the predatory gas industry,” said Ebert. “Greenhunter wants to use our water sources as dumping grounds for their toxic, radioactive waste. We are here to send a message that the people of Ohio and Appalachia will not sit idly by and watch our homes be turned into a sacrifice zone!”
Frack waste dumping has generated resistance across Ohio, including direct actions disrupting waste disposal operations from Youngstown to Athens County. The waste is injected underground into over 170 wells statewide, contaminating water and causing numerous earthquakes across the state from Marietta to Ashtabula, most notably a 4.0 earthquake in Youngstown. Surface spills are commonplace across Ohio, including the recently uncovered intentional dumping of an estimated hundreds of thousands of gallons of frack waste into the Mahoning River.
“Fracking chemicals and cancer go hand in hand,” said Teresa Mills of the Buckeye Forest Council, a grassroots Ohio organization seeking a ban on frack waste injection. “Greenhunter plans to recklessly endanger the drinking water of millions of residents of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and beyond. How many kids have to get cancer before we decide that saturating Ohio’s rivers and aquifers with toxic waste is not worth it? We need a ban on injection wells to protect our air, our water, and our children.”
Other groups participating in Tuesday’s action include Tar Sands Blockade, Radical Action for Mountain Peoples’ Survival (RAMPS), a coalition of indigenous leaders including representatives from No Line 9 and the Unis’tot’en Camp, Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, and Earth First! chapters from across the country. Tuesday’s action is the latest in a series of escalated acts of resistance to destructive extractive industries. On Monday, Pennsylvanians disrupted construction of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline in the Delaware State Forest. In January, Navajo residents from Black Mesa, Arizona joined with Appalachians to protest strip mining at the headquarters of Peabody Energy. International resistance to tar sands mining has continued to escalate from the Tar Sands Blockade in Texas and Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance in Oklahoma, to the Unist’ot’en Camp in Wet’suwet’en Territories.
“I am here because the struggle against frack waste dumping in Ohio is the same as our resistance to the blasting of the mountains in my backyard in West Virginia,” said Kim Ellis of RAMPS. “Until we put a stop to poisonous and exploitative extractive practices everywhere, we will continue to fight.”
Keep fighting! Stand against fracking and injection wells! We don’t need to accept this abuse of our land, air, and water!
Follow us on Twitter: @AppalResist
###Appalachia Resist is a campaign of resistance to the poisoning and exploitation of Appalachia. For more information, go to:www.appalachiaresist.wordpress.com; Twitter: @AppalResist