*Don’t forget to register for this weekend’s anti-fracking action camp!*
For years, Ohio’s Division of Natural Resources has refused numerous written and oral requests to test the millions of barrels of fracking “brine” dumped into rivers, pumped into injection wells, and spread onto roads across Ohio (e.g. last weekend’s 100+ gallon spill in Trumbull County).
Now, Ohio is fighting back, and we need your help to hold Ohio’s “regulators” accountable for their inaction.
ODNR was presented with results from the first independent test of fracking brine on June 27, along with a statement from Rep. Bob Hagan. In typical fashion, ODNR has failed to respond at all (as of July 11). If frack waste is proven to be hazardous material and reclassified accordingly, the natural gas industry would be forced to dispose of waste in class I injection wells. While the industry currently depends on the 170 active class II injection wells in Ohio, there are only 10 class I wells operating in Ohio today. If brine is reclassified, the fracking industry will come to a grinding halt.
Here is what you can do:
1) Participate in a call-in day next Tuesday, July 17 to ODNR geologist Tom Tomastik requesting ODNR initiate independent laboratory testing of fracking waste samples. You can reach Mr. Tomastik directly at (614) 265-1032 with your request. Help us spread the word about the call-in day via facebook, and email firstname.lastname@example.org after you have called.
2) Email ODNR and demand that they begin to test fracking waste through an independent laboratory and release those results publicly. After you have contacted ODNR, email a copy of your correspondence to email@example.com so that we can keep track of how many attempts have been made to pursue brine-testing through proper channels. A list of ODNR officials to email and a sample message are included below.
Ohio residents have taken matters into their own hands by blocking access to toxic injection sites from Youngstown to Athens and, most recently, releasing independently tested results from a sample of fracking waste taken from an open storage pit in Athens County. These results, which received media coverage in Columbus and Youngstown, prove once more what we already know to be true: this fracking waste is hazardous material, containing dangerous levels of contaminants such as arsenic, barium, toluene, and alpha particles, as well as diesel concentrations nearly 300,000 times the primary standard for “acceptable” levels of contamination in drinking water.
ODNR Officials to Contact: Rick.Simmers@dnr.state.oh.us, James.Zehringer@dnr.state.oh.us, Thomas.Tugend@dnr.state.oh.us, Tom.Tomastik@dnr.state.oh.us, minerals <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I am writing to formally request that you exercise your authority under Section 1509.06 of the Ohio Revised Code and order immediate testing of the frack waste that is being injected into each of the 170+ wells across Ohio. The injection of untested materials is a public health hazard that threatens the safety and environment of Ohio residents, as spills and other accidents associated with this waste have occurred in at least 12 counties across Ohio according to a limited review of ODNR records. Consider this correspondence an official complaint concerning the possibility of water contamination from “brine” injection at these wells.
Accordingly, ODNR must institute a program for systematic testing of waste from every company dumping brine in Ohio. Testing should occur periodically and without advanced notice to well operators or brine-hauling companies. This testing must include out of state waste fluids that have been recycled, as well as testing for water soluble toxins such as radium 226 and Glycol Ethers, which require special analytical procedures.
Peer reviewed methods and protocols must be established and provided by ODNR to residents before testing for review by experts. A split sample of brine materials should be taken for testing in an independent laboratory to verify ODNR’s results, and ODNR should request a “library search” to identify unknown chemicals and instruct the laboratory to report all “TICs” (tentatively identified compounds).
I look forward to your reply.