A press release received today from the Athens County FrackingAction Network:
Citizens protest new Athens County frack waste mega-well; Meeting with Commissioners Set for Tuesday
Athens County, Aug. 30, 2013 -- A permit application has been submitted for another injection well in Athens County by K&HP Partners of West Virginia. It will permit up to 4000 barrels a day –– more than 61 million gallons a year –– of frack waste disposal (most from out-of-state) in a well near U.S. 50 in Torch, Ohio. The public comment period ends Sept. 9, 2013.
Athens County Fracking Action Network urges citizens to voice their protest by writing to ODNR Division of Oil and Gas at email@example.com, 2045 Morse Road Bldg F-2, Columbus Ohio 43229 by Monday, Sept. 9.
Writers should be sure to reference Permit Application APATT022697 and address concerns specific to this well. The permit application and other documents can be accessed at ACFAN's injection well page at acfan.org.
“The new K&H well will be less than 1/2 mile from another owned by the same company that receives up to 1500 barrels/day (a barrel is 42 gallons). Both will use an unloading facility and storage tanks that were not included in the prior permit application so have had no public scrutiny,” explained Space Welch, a concerned parent of three boys.
She added, “Six drinking water wells are also within 1/2 mile from where these 83 million gallons of toxic, radioactive waste will be pumped into our county land annually. The well site drains into an unnamed tributary, then into Skunk Run. God help us!”
Former Athens County Children’s Services director Andrea Reik has been educating herself and others on injection wells this year. She will lead a meeting of concerned citizens addressing the County Commissioners on the issue at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 3 at the County Commissioners’ office, 15 S. Court St., Athens.
Reik stated, “I was shocked to see the K&H Company of West Virginia has submitted an application for a second injection well. If approved as expected by ODNR, this well will accept more than 61,000,000 gallons of toxic, radioactive frack waste annually to be pumped directly into our land. The frack waste is not from our county and mostly not even from our own state. This waste will contaminate our county’s water, because all wells fail. It’s just a question of when. Cement degrades in a matter of decades.”
Reik also stated, “ODNR does not test drinking or other water around waste wells, so it has no idea how often water wells have been contaminated by the pumping of many millions of gallons of toxic, radioactive waste under our land.”
She noted, “There is great concern being expressed statewide about this assault. Legislation has been introduced into the Ohio House (HB 148) and Senate (SB 178) to ban injection wells in Ohio. The Athens County Commissioners and the Athens City Council have passed resolutions to support this legislation.”
The County Commissioners also wrote a letter of protest for the previous injection well application, the Atha well on State Rt. 144. They received a form letter in reply denying their request for a public hearing. Although Ohio requires that the Chief grant a public hearing if ANY comments are substantive and relevant to health, safety, or good conservation practices (Ohio Administrative Code 1501:9-3-06 (E) (2) (c)), the Atha well was permitted this year after a record 98 public comments protesting the well last September, including the Athens County Commissioners’ and one representing the owner of the land to be used for the dump site.
“Something is terribly wrong when our state government denies a voice to the County Commission elected to protect its land, water, and people. Our public officials should have a say in whether Athens County becomes a toxic waste dump for out-of-state radioactive waste,” said Katie O’Neill, Athens County resident. Katie recently moved away from the Albany area due to proximity to the open pit of the Ginsburg injection well on Ladd Ridge Rd. “I was nauseous from the vapors after 30 minutes standing on the road near the Ginsburg well with other concerned citizens showing Debbie Phillips the well. I moved soon afterwards.”
Athens County Fracking Action Network will meet with the Athens County Commission at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 3 at the Commissioners’ meeting room, 15 S. Court St., Athens, to discuss the new permit application, the injection well ban legislation, and how the Commissioners can take a more proactive role to educate other county commissions through the County Commissioners’ Association of Ohio. CCAO has an injection well ban on its 213-2014 legislative platform.