[For updates check ohiofracktion.com]
Concerned residents blocked access to an injection well in Trumbull County this morning, protesting the failure of Ohio regulators to adequately test and monitor dumping of toxic fracking waste. At least one protestor has been arrested and at least two others have been detained.
Trumbull County residents, along with supporters from Frack Free Mahoning and Ohio Fracktion, are gathering at the well site on Sodom Hutchings Road in Vienna Township, to express concerns about the contents of the 1,000 gallons of fracking wastewater that spilled along five miles of road in Fowler Township, a nearby residential area on July 7.They are demanding that Ohio’s Division of Natural Resources (ODNR) begin systematically testing out-of-state frack waste that is injected into over 170 wells throughout Ohio. One supporter has locked himself to the gate to prevent all trucks carrying fracking waste from entering the site.
According to spokesperson Mike Settles, emergency responders from Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted only a simple pH test of the spilled frack waste lining the roads of Fowler Township. As far as further testing for radiation, heavy metals, and other chemicals, Settles explained that EPA doesn’t “have the resources” to perform testing unless there is a “legitimate concern” of environmental damage. Thick, rust colored residue was still visible on the road over a week after the spill.
Liberal Township Trustee Jodi Stoyak expressed her frustration with EPA’s response in a July 12 letter to Mr. Settles, noting “many of the chemicals used in [fracking] and contained in the waste are officially classified individually as hazardous…. This, in my opinion, is a huge environmental concern.”
ODNR officials have ignored numerous written and oral requests from Ohio residents to order testing of the countless gallons of out-of-state frack waste injected underground into Ohio each year. In response to a recent public records request asking ODNR to release all testing relevant to fracking waste, ODNR Geologist Tom Tomastik provided no results taken after 1989.