VICTORY! Public outrage halts D&L well in Youngstown.

Anti-fracking organizers won a victory last Saturday when Youngstown citizens were awoken by rumblings not of Santa’s hoofbeats, but another toxic earthquake from an injection well in their backyard, prompting the well’s closure.  As reported in today’s edition of the Vindicator, the Ohio Division of Natural Resources has ordered the temporary closure of a D&L brine-injection well, a storage site for radioactive and carcinogenic fracking wastewater and the probable cause of at least nine earthquakes in Youngstown.

protesters at D&L Hubbard Injection well Dec. 21st

The D&L well has been the subject of widespread community outrage,  Youngstown area residents have attended township meetings, staged protests, sung anti-fracking carols outside the mayor’s office, and even blockaded entrances to the D&L injection site to put a stop to the toxic earthquakes themselves in the absence of any regulatory intervention.  Susie Beiersdorfer, a geologist at Youngstown State and local activist, stated that “hard work and constant pressure is paying off.  It’s in the news, it’s raising people’s awareness.  That’s what I’m looking forward to in 2012.” Continue reading

CHAINSAWS AGAINST FRACKING: Lycoming County township official blocks road with downed trees to force drilling company to make repairs

By JOHN BEAUGE, The Patriot-News The Patriot-News

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — A supervisor in a small rural township in northern Lycoming County took matters into his own hands when a Marcellus shale drilling company kept using a road it had been told to keep big trucks off of.

chainsaw.jpg

Daniel Roupp cut down a half dozen trees yesterday, blocking the gravel road. “I’m thinking we got their attention,” he said today.

read the whole story HERE.

Now that’s a happy new years!  Here’s a town that’s so frustrated with the fracking industry that A PUBLIC OFFICIAL personally felled trees to block the roads fracking vehicles were illegally damaging with their traffic.

MEANWHILE in Ohio the list of actions keeps getting longer by the day (by the hour this morning)!   I’m thinking we’re going to have to add a whole new page of just local direct actions.  Including…

In Memory of Mansfield, Casualty of Fracking put on by Occupy Mansfield tomorrow from 2-4pm.  Be there!

Why are there so many people taking direct action?  It’s a problem of Democracy.

-by Ben Shapiro

When folks don’t have the right to decide how their lives are profoundly affected where they live, we don’t have a hydrofracking problem: we have a democracy problem!  And if we can’t have democracy where we live, point anywhere on the map where we do have democracy and I’ll be astounded.  For this reason the fight against environmental harms like fracking is a human and civil rights struggle that connects to those civil rights struggles of the past.  Using this argument, cities have created citizens’ bills of rights to environmental health in many cities, most notably Pittsburgh which used this legislation to ban fracking AND end corporate personhood.

Continue reading

UPDATE: Youngstown 7 on Trial- REDUCED CHARGES!

December 22nd,
YOUNGSTOWN, OH: 7 protesters arrested for blockading trucks containing the highly toxic wastewater produced from hydraulic frackturing on November 30th are on trial in Youngstown.  The action was carried out in response to the D&L Energy owned injection well in Youngstown, which is injecting wastewater from Pennsylvania and Ohio deep into the ground.

In a courtroom packed with local supporters and members of Occupy Youngstown the 7 were charged with M1 Disorderly Conduct, which carries a maximum 30-day term of confinement and a $250.000 fine per arrestee. Defendants entered a plea of “no contest” which accepts the facts but does not admit guilt. After being declared guilty of the reduced charge of M4 Disorderly Conduct protesters were fined $50 & court fees on recommendation of judge and prosecutor.

The Youngstown injection well has caused eight nearby earthquakes since March of 2011 – seven of these with an epicenter located at the well.  Arrested activist Ben Shapiro said, “Well casings and cement break and degrade in the best of circumstances leaking highly toxic chemicals, it’s far more dangerous at the epicenter of these earthquakes.  How in the world can V&M Star and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources think this can be safe anywhere for our drinking water?”

Jaime Frederick of Youngstown Ohio has been sick ever since a fracked well on a neighboring property was drilled and known fracking fluid contaminants entered her well. “I was being poisoned and didn’t know it.  My gall bladder had completely stopped working.  I kept getting sicker and sicker.”

People across the country are pointing to the action as an example of how citizens are threatened by the hundreds of millions of gallons of chemically laced water used per injection well, many of which are known toxins and carcinogens such as benzene, formaldehyde, heavy metals, surfactants, and many more.  At a New York State Public hearing Sandra Steingraber, environmental biologist, cited the Ohio activists in her testimony against injection wells for fracking waste.

These chemicals also cause extreme health effects including cancer and brain damage from endocrine disruption.   A recent well leak in Broadview Heights sickened neighbors while local emergency responders could do nothing for 24 hours.  In Chester Township 85 gallons of crude oil, gas, and toxic waste water shot 20 feet in the air.

According to defendant Sean O’Toole, a 61-year old retired veteran and local resident, “hydrofracking companies causing irreparable damage to the land and people should be prosecuted and not those seeking to protect safe drinking water and community health.  What’s going on is radical, not me.”

      You can contribute to the regional legal defense fund for activists by clicking here.

Deadline for Submissions to ODNR Approaching Fast! Send in a Letter!

All,

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is calling for a response on
proposed Amendments to the laws being drafted about fracking. The
letters should be received by ODNR before Dec. 23, 11.

Download the letter as a word document.  It is crucial that the letter arrives before or by Dec. 23, 2011.  You can send it to minerals@dnr.state.oh.us as an email or as a printed letter. Continue reading

Ohio Fracking Petition

Protect Our Air and Water! Support the Fracking Moratorium Bills (SB213 and HB345)!

Below is an outline of a sign-on letter petition to lobby Ohio representatives towards supporting the two fracking moratorium bills currently in the Ohio house and senate.  This is a really exciting way to start indicating to the Ohio legislature that people in this state are opposed to the development of natural gas.  SIGN THE PETITION HERE.

Continue reading