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East Palestine, OH: A Scientist Speaks Out 

Photo credit: Michael Swensen / Getty Images

By Stephen Lester.

East Palestine, OH: A Scientist Speaks Out 

The situation in East Palestine, OH remains very frustrating for many residents. They are trying to make sense of the contrast between what EPA tells them with the many adverse health symptoms they are experiencing firsthand. Many residents continue to suffer from nose bleeds, headaches, skin rashes, thyroid problems and more caused by the horrific derailment and subsequent intentional burning of five tanker cars full of vinyl chloride. A highly toxic chemical known to cause cancer, liver damage, central nervous system and other adverse health effects. EPA continues to tell people that everything is fine and Norfolk Southern, the train operator, is tired of paying for temporary housing which some people have used to move out.

The letter below, reprinted in its entirety, is from an independent scientist who has taken air samples from inside the homes in of some people still living in East Palestine. This will give you some idea what people there are continuing to go through. The letter was addressed to the Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and J.D. Vance and Ohio representative Bill Johnson. EPA has refused to respond to these independent test results and continues to ignore pleas for additional testing in homes in East Palestine. 

Senator Sherrod Brown, J.D. Vance

Congressman Bill Johnson

(sent by email)

Hart Senate Office Building, 201 2nd St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

June 17, 2023

Dear Senators and Congressman representing Ohio:

I am a professor at Purdue University evaluating health risks of conditions that impact people and businesses in and around East Palestine, Ohio. I want to share important findings with you. After my June 10-12 investigation in East Palestine, I have serious concerns for the safety of children, adults, and businesses. During this, my sixth field investigation, I discovered, again, that acute chemical exposures are occurring inside some residential and commercial buildings near the derailment site and along the contaminated Sulfur Run. I provide four recommendations below.

There are still acute health threats inside buildings that agencies have yet to eliminate. Several buildings around the derailment site and along Sulfur Run still have the characteristic odor of chemical contamination. I have smelled it firsthand and we have been doing nearby environmental testing. Last week some occupants indicated that they became ill and have been avoiding certain buildings even after airing them out repeatedly. Some occupants have paid for indoor air testing which revealed butyl acrylate exceeding the ATSDR screening level, soot was present, and other chemicals present (e.g., ethylhexyl acrylate, benzene). Other occupants do not have financial ability to pay for indoor air testing, but I can confirm the odor was present. Norfolk Southern contractors did visit some buildings in February using inadequate air testing devices,[1] and in one case, their team left the building because of the unpleasant odor they encountered. Some occupants told me that Norfolk Southern said they will not help them because there is legal action against them. Some building occupants have told me they cannot spend more than 2 to 5 minutes inside their building without experiencing side effects. In February/March, the East Palestine Municipal Building (85 N. Market Street), where town council meets, was contaminated with chemicals from Sulfur Run. Agencies found chemicals entering through unplugged drain pipes beneath the building. This was corrected, but contamination in other residential and commercial buildings remains.

Actions needed are to:

  1. Decontaminate all residential, commercial, and government buildings surrounding the derailment site and along Sulfur Run. This will help maintain anonymity.
  2. Conduct chemical testing inside these buildings for soot and over several weeks for volatile organic compounds (VOC) and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC).
  3. Inspect and eliminate pathways where chemicals enter buildings from the Sulfur Run culverts that go underneath and alongside buildings (i.e., building pipes, drains, cracked concrete, sumps, etc.).

Evidence shows that this disaster has repeatedly exceeded the scientific and organizational capability of the USEPA and other agencies involved. You may consider recommending:

  • The assembly and charging of an independent team of public experts to advise decision makers about scientific issues with this disaster. Areas of expertise needed are air quality, water quality, materials, civil engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, public health, environmental health, epidemiology, groundwater, risk assessment, among others.

Please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at awhelton@purdue.edu.

Sincerely,

Andrew Whelton

Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN


[1] Borst and Bogardus. E&E News. June 1, 2023: EPA promised clarity, transparency after Ohio train derailment. But some air monitors didn’t work. – E&E News by POLITICO (eenews.net)

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News Archive

Ohio Protests the Anti-Protest Bill

The Ohio House Public Utilities Committee approved Senate Bill 33 on Thursday, January 29. The government building was packed with state residents ready to speak in opposition of the bill. SB 33 is aimed at protecting oil and gas production infrastructure, while in turn, making many acts of protest against the industry potentially illegal. After the passing of the bill, residents spoke out in frustration by chanting “This is our house.” The crowds settled after Ohio state troopers arrived on scene; however, it might foreshadow Ohio’s movement towards limiting protesters’ freedom of speech. Read More.

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Stories of Local Leaders

Randy Cunningham: Extra! Extra! Making History! Write All About It!

Ohio is home to some of the nation’s most natural lands, with acres of beautiful forests, countless national parks and glistening water systems. It is a well sought after spot for a natural getaway. On the other hand, it is also a well sought after spot for industry that has placed the state as the 5th leading producer of natural gas.
Organizations and activist leaders for years have surrounded Ohio’s natural lands and vulnerable communities pushing back against industrial encroachment and expansion. Among these leaders is longtime Ohio resident, Randy Cunningham. Randy has dedicated his life to environmental activism to fight for and defend the public health rights of his community in Ohio, as well as, a handful of communities in varying locations around the country and even the world.
IMG_0233Cunningham got his start in environmental activism at a young age from a fight to defend his family’s land in Missouri from the expansion of the I-95 interstate. From that battle forward, Randy never looked back and dedicated his life to speaking out against environmental and human rights injustices. He has spent the majority of his life involved in a wide variety of campaigns, including landfill and incinerator use, the ban of plastic bags, and available housing. As a part of his lifelong achievements, Randy points to the publishing of his book, Democratizing Cleveland: The Rise and Fall of Community Organizing in Cleveland, Ohio 1975-1985. The book, released in 2007, is a compilation of nearly 15 years worth of interviews from local activists in Cleveland, Ohio. The motivation behind the book was to highlight the portions of activism that the public doesn’t normally get to see or pay attention to. 
“Everyone wants to be on camera and no one wants to give credit to the people doing the groundwork. They are the important people.”
Cunningham explains that his writing is a large part of his activism efforts. “E.P. Thompson (a British historian and writer) once said that you cannot make history and write about it at the same time. Well, I try to do both.”
In between writing and working with numerous organizations, Randy is currently participating in the movement to block Ohio Senate Bill 33, (Modify Criminal and Civil Law for Critical Infrastructure Damage) also known as, the anti-protest bill. The state legislature has introduced the bill as a means to protect “critical infrastructure” and individuals from damage and danger resulting from operational interference. The bill has defined  “critical infrastructure” as a facility that is enclosed with a fence or physical barrier and includes petroleum refineries, natural gas processing plants and interstate pipelines. In total, the proposed bill has listed 73 different types of industrial structures as “critical infrastructure.” 
Ohio SB 33 is not the first bill in the country to propose anti-protest legislation. In response to the Standing Rock protests that impeded the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016, 18 states have to varying degrees introduced or passed a bill limiting the protest of pipeline construction or operation. Among the states that have passed a similar bill are Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee. In addition to Ohio, five other states (Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota and Missouri) have introduced an anti-protest bill and are still awaiting a final decision. States across the country are taking a stance to partner with and protect the development of the oil industry, while in effect, making most acts of protest against the energy industry illegal. 
The problem with SB 33 lies in the vagueness of its language that would make a simple act of protest against a pipeline a criminal offense. An individual can be charged with a third-degree felony for protesting or trespassing on any structure outlined in the bill, with fines up to $10,000. Further, organizations that participate in any protest activity could face fines as large as $100,000, or ten times the maximum fine imposed on an individual for a 1st degree misdemeanor ($1,000). The bill in all, protects the oil and gas industry from any interruption that might obstruct production.
Randy, along with many of his other community members have not taken to the introduction of the bill sitting down. In addition to community petitions and hearings, many individuals in opposition to SB 33 have documented their concerns through written testimony. In his testimony, Cunningham questions lawmakers’ intentions in the bill, explaining that most acts of protests within the state are done through nonviolent civil disobedience. Many individuals are trained to ensure that the demonstrations will be done in a structured way without the use of violence or damage to infrastructure. Randy questions why Ohio officials are concerned about such types of protests that peaceful exemplify Americans practicing their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly.
Further, Randy likens the bill to some of the nation’s most historic transformative moments in which organizers have risen above industry and political control. Similar movements of the sort include the  the women’s suffrage movement and the achievement of labor rights. Randy explains that the bill will not quiet those in opposition to the threats the oil and gas industry place on the basic rights to human health.
The bill currently sits in committee on the House side of the Ohio State Legislature where it will then be taken to a vote. The bill passed within the Ohio Senate on May 1, 2019, with a majority vote of 28 to 8. Randy urges organizations and individuals to continue to comment on the bill expressing their concerns of opposition while it sits in committee. If the bill does pass, it will not signal the end of the fight. Community members, along with Randy, are prepared to take their fight to the highest level to combat the bill and its obstruction of basic civil rights. 
For more information on SB 33 please contact Teresa Mills at tmills@chej.org

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Backyard Talk

Veto Ohio Senate Bill 33

If you live in a state with any type of oil, gas, pipeline, PAY ATTENTION! In fact, if we start seeing bills like the one before the Ohio legislature it doesn’t even have to be an oil/gas producing state.  The Ohio bill lists 73 different “Critical Infrastructures”. 
Below you will see a letter to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine from citizens of Ohio asking for him to veto SB 33 if it comes to his desk.  The letter will help you understand what is going on in many states.  
To Ohio Governor Mike DeWine:
The undersigned environmental justice, racial justice, civil justice, criminal justice, and other civil society groups and individuals urge you to veto Ohio Senate Bill 33 (SB 33). The bill would undermine and silence already marginalized voices. SB 33 is an unnecessary proposal that creates new draconian penalties for conduct already covered by existing criminal statutes and could have dire unintended consequences. SB 33 is part of a national trend of so-called “critical infrastructure” legislation promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that is intended to neutralize citizen activism around oil and gas infrastructures. We urge you to oppose SB 33.
 
Critical infrastructure bills disproportionately affect some of the most underrepresented communities, criminalizing their right to protest. These bills target many already marginalized voices, in reaction to some of the most high-profile protests in recent history. Communities of color, low-wealth communities and our Native American population are most affected by unchecked environmental pollution; family farms have the most to lose by unfair land-grabs for large infrastructure projects. These communities have a right to peacefully resist environmentally unsafe and unjust policies and unchecked corporate abuse.
SB 33 is purportedly designed to protect critical infrastructure, but the definition of “critical infrastructure” is overly broad and would cover large swaths of the state in urban, suburban, and rural areas, creating the unintended consequence of ensnaring many in Ohio’s already overburdened criminal justice system.
Additionally, the bill does not distinguish between criminal damages of one dollar or a million dollars. At a time when many people, including lawmakers, have recognized the deleterious effects that mass incarceration has had on society and have attempted to rectify laws that have criminalized certain conduct or imposed unreasonable penalties, SB 33 is a giant step backwards. By creating a whole new class of nonviolent offenders who could serve serious prison time, it is antithetical to criminal justice reform.
Environmental advocacy, including civil disobedience, does not threaten physical infrastructure or safety. It threatens profits. Critical infrastructure bills are based on model legislation crafted by corporate interests to establish special protections for some private industries engaged in controversial practices that attract opposition and protest. These bills, including SB 33, are rooted in governments hostile attitudes toward environmental justice advocacy because it threatens the profits of these corporations. Whenever states enact legislation based on these hostile attitudes towards particular political speech, it has a chilling effect that will be felt widely.
We urge you to veto SB 33 if and when it comes across your desk. From a criminal justice reform perspective, this bill is damaging, as it creates new steep penalties for conduct that is already covered under existing criminal law. These new steep penalties and special protections for so-called critical infrastructure are rooted in animus towards anti-pipeline protesters. It is inappropriate for states to seek to legislate in order to penalize individuals for their First Amendment-protected points of view.

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Backyard Talk

Reflecting on the Meaning of Independence Day Growing Up in Appalachia, Ohio

by Teresa Mills, CHEJ Organizer at Large/Small Grants Coordinator 
As a small child growing up in the hills of Appalachia Ohio, I was not aware that communities sponsored July 4th parades, or fireworks.  Our local drive-in theater did shoot off a few fireworks between movies; so my aunt and cousins would all pile into a car and go to the drive in, a major treat for my cousins and myself. 
I remember laying on a blanket looking up at the sky in anticipation of what was about to take place.   As our childhood excitement grew and grew, our aunt was more than happy that she brought a blanket and that we were out of her car.  
As the first firework went off there were screams of joy and excitement followed by the silence of our childish glee.  We had become amazed and almost hypnotized by the sights and sounds of what we were told was the day we celebrated our independence.  I recall my cousins looking at each other with confused looks and one cousin asking, “What does independence mean?” Our poor aunt tried in vain to teach a bunch of rowdy six and seven-year-old girls what “Independence” meant and why we celebrate the day.  I think we listened to her for about thirty seconds before starting to chase each other around the parked cars in the lot.  
A few years later I learned what Independence Day was.  At least what it was supposed to be. You know there is always a fine line between what we are told and what is reality.  Growing up in a political family in Appalachia I was always told not to worry, the politicians would take care of things. Wait, what, you mean my uncle, my brother, and my grandfather would see that everything was ok, REALLY! I knew these people and knew that they didn’t know a whole lot more than I did.  I saw politics play out in a small town and felt that this was not what I would call independence. It was more like a dictatorship. “Do as I say, because I said so” was the response to all my questions.  
Today, things have only gotten worse.  Every time we turn around, some elected suit is taking away yet another one of our civil and human rights.  We are seeing fewer and fewer chances to participate in our own government, both federal and state. I think we all remember when the state governments were complaining that the federal government had too much control.  Now look at it. Today, it is many of our states, influenced by corporate power/dollars, that have turned around and taken local control away from our cities, towns and villages. Boy now isn’t that the “pot calling the kettle black”! 
America! Wake up this 4th of July!  Celebrate the day and then on the 5th, do something to help take back control over your own government from corporate America!  Don’t allow the same “Do as I say because I said so” to continue. Stand up! Raise your voice!  Some say that our voice has been taken away; I believe we gave our voices away by not standing up to those who hold us down.  
Get mad.

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Backyard Talk

Where Is Piketon Ohio? & Why Is The US Department of Energy Making Them Accept A Radio Active Waste Dump? By Sharon Franklin

 
In Piketon, Ohio, David and Pam Mills who have grown tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and okra on their property for about 18 years, now say they can’t trust their soil anymore.  Why? Because less than a 5-minute walk from their property a short metal fence marking where the Mills property ends, there is a sign that reads, “U.S. PROPERTY, NO TRESPASSING,” in big, bold letters with red, white, and blue borders, where the US government is constructing a 100-acre landfill for radioactive waste. Piketon, Ohio is a rural, low income, and largely white county and home to more than 28,000 people across a number of small towns and cities.  When you drive through neighborhoods behind Piketon’s main highway, lawn signs covered in red stating “NO RADIOACTIVE WASTE DUMP in Pike County” can be seen everywhere.
blog 1
 
The US Department of Energy (DOE) owns the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, and now, the agency is trying to clean it up.  When construction is finished, it will be one of the largest nuclear waste dumps east of the Mississippi, and waste could begin entering it as soon as the Fall of 2019.
The clean-up and construction of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant spurred the 2,000 strong Village of Pike community members, to pass a resolution in August 2017 opposing the landfill.  The Mills say “It’s gonna contaminate everything,” “It’s just a matter of time.”
blog2
 
However, the problem for Piketon residents, is there is nothing technically illegal about the landfill. The US DOE, though the polluter, is taking the lead on cleaning up the facility, and the Ohio EPA supports its plan. Whether their decision is morally right given local opposition is another matter. But this is what often happens when a corporation or governmental entity needs to dispose of toxic waste: It gets dumped in an overlooked town, like Piketon, Ohio, that doesn’t deserve it.
When contacted by the reporter, the Trump Administration’s US Department of Energy (DOE) wouldn’t comment on why it chose this site despite the nearby streams nor would it say how that impacts environmental risk.
 
As reported by Yessenia Funes, May 16, 2019 
 
 
 

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Homepage News Archive

OHIO’s 1st Human Rights Tribunal

The first human-rights and environmental-justice hearing ever held in Ohio took place in Athens Saturday. The hearing was part of a tribunal process on impacts of fracking as a human-rights issue.
Sixteen presenters from around Ohio testified to a panel of four citizen judges at the First United Methodist Church in Athens, providing more than six hours of testimony.
The event is part of the Permanent People’s Tribunal on Fracking, which is gathering testimony from around the world to deliver to the Permanent People’s Tribunal and the United Nations.
The Athens hearing, one of two planned for Ohio, was initiated by the Buckeye Environmental Network , and organized with support from Torch Can Do!, the grassroots group founded by residents living in and near Torch in eastern Athens County, and a grant from the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice. Torch is the site of one of the largest fracking-waste injection facilities in Ohio. Read more.

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Backyard Talk Homepage

Grassroots Green Hero: Save Our County’s Alonzo Spencer!

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Alonzo Spencer, president of Save Our County, speaks during a demonstration at City Hall decrying a hazardous waste incinerator run by Heritage Thermal Services in East Liverpool on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. The EPA recently detailed serious and repeated pollution violations. Citizens have fought the presence and operation of the incinerator for decades. (Dispatch Photo by Barbara J. Perenic)
Alonzo Spencer, president of Save Our County, speaks during a demonstration at City Hall decrying a hazardous waste incinerator run by Heritage Thermal Services in East Liverpool on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. The EPA had recently detailed serious and repeated pollution violations. Citizens have fought the presence and operation of the incinerator for decades. (Dispatch Photo by Barbara J. Perenic)

Alonzo, you’re on the board for CHEJ. How did that happen? What’s your connection to CHEJ?
I’ve been on the board of CHEJ for over 25 years. I met Lois before she formed CHEJ. She’d come [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][to East Liverpool] to testify — we were battling this facility here and she came and testified on our behalf and then when she formed CHEJ, I think maybe a year or two later, and I accepted.
What was Lois coming to testify about?
In our community we have the world’s largest hazardous waste facility permitted. We’ve been trying to stop it from day one. She and I knew some of the same people and we invited her here to testify. She came and helped demonstrate.
What hazardous waste facility?
Heritage Thermal Services, formerly known as WTI.  
We’ve been fighting this since they started. We took action against permitting them to build. We requested that both the state and federal EPA monitor them, and they’ve had numerous violations cited against them. This facility should have never been built from a legal standpoint, environmental standpoint, or health standpoint.
How did you become active in the organizing community? Why fight against Heritage Thermal Services?
Well, you know originally when this was first proposed I was in favor of it, at that time, keep in mind we didn’t have any organization here. First, they said it was going to be safe, and it was going to attract industry. They were gonna sell cheap steam and electricity. To apply for their permits to build they were required to hold these hearings. We found out by attending these hearings their original statements were false. It was introduced to us as a “Waste to Energy Facility” but we found out it was actually a hazardous waste facility. So we learnt from that. Then we formed Save Our County and that was started to oppose the facility.
What is your organization up to now?
We are currently in the midst of a lawsuit against Heritage Thermal Service regarding their classification as a habitual violator by the U.S. EPA. We’ve been in court [with them] a number of times. We are set to go October 17th in the United States courthouse in Youngstown, Oh regarding our suit. We are going to present to the judge what we’d like to get out of the suit. Fighting Heritage Thermal Services is my organization’s, Save our County, main concern. We have other organizations throughout the country that our fighting their own local battles and we have gone to them and assisted them. We help other organizations in the same way that CHEJ does. We’ve learnt that from being affiliated with CHEJ.
What did you start off doing in activism?
Demonstrations at first. We held demonstrations at the facility. Martin Sheen came once and 33 of us got arrested, including Martin. We had a trial [regarding our arrest] and we won our case! We were charged with trespassing and we went to court we had a trial and we were found innocent. We had peaceful demonstrations here, demonstrations in D.C. and we were arrested there, too.
What effect has Heritage Thermal Facilities had on your community?
Right now, East Liverpool has been designated by the Ohio Department of Health to have a higher cancer rate than the state or national average of health. We were told this was going to happen to us before the Heritage Thermal Services moved in, and time has proven it to be true. Our school age children are breathing this poisonous air which has had an affect on their learning ability and attention span. We have a high rate of children with learning disabilities. This was all predicted. They said it would be a while, ten to fifteen years, and now it’s all come to fruition.
What would you recommend to communities for advice in organizing?
The first thing we tell communities is to organize and try to put people in positions of authority that are on your side, in other words, councilmen or commissioners. You have to make sure these officials understand the negative effects and are on your side, that they understand what’s going on. Ask them questions, do they know about the effects that the facility will have on the environment? These facilities have such a dramatic negative health effect on this community. This is a very important aspect that groups have to address before getting started.
Any words of advice for citizens trying to organize?
Do not be mislead by what these facilities say initially. Try to find out as much as you can about the facility itself, what they are going to do, and try to make sure that they are held accountable for all of their violations. [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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Homepage News Archive

Activists target fracking waste on Tuesday’s action day

Bob Downing, Akron Beacon Journal. In Ohio, environmental agencies including CHEJ are organizing educational events in order to inspire a change in the fracking industry. These events will be held on the National Day of Action on Tuesday, June 7th.
From a Thursday press release:

Groups Call for a Halt to Toxic Fracking Waste and Man-made Earthquakes in a National Day of Action to be held on Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ohio, June 2, 2016 – Even though unconventional fracking currently appears to be experiencing a shale bust, the toxic fracking waste problem is still here and getting worse as millions of gallons and tons of fracking waste is constantly being created, according to groups organizing a National Day of Action to be held on June 7, 2016.
       On June 7th, groups and concerned citizens in about twelve states will call for a halt to toxic fracking waste and related man-made earthquakes in an event titled “Freedom From Toxic Fracking Waste and Earthquakes: National Day of Action.”
       One of the major concerns the groups want to address is:
Where is all of the fracking waste going when there is no good or safe way to handle it that effectively protects public health, safety, and well-being?
       On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, a national coalition of local coordinators and groups will hold rallies or actions throughout the day to shine light on the numerous problems associated with toxic, radioactive fracking waste and its “disposal,” including its links to earthquakes, spills, and leaks.  They say the pollution risks to water, air, and land due to toxic fracking waste are unacceptable. Events being planned include a tour of waste sites, “toxic tea parties,” rallies, and presentations.
      “We know there are injection and disposal wells being permitted in rural and residential areas way too close to homes and communities. This is not progress. Such toxic waste operations, located anywhere, pose unacceptable levels of risks including spills, decreased property values, man-made earthquakes, lightning-related explosions, and pollution of drinking water, air, and soil.  It’s time for industry and government to own up to the fact that unacceptable impacts are occurring related to fracking waste. You cannot regulate earthquakes, for example. The only real answer to this huge fracking waste problem is to stop this madness and really protect public health, safety, and well-being, “said Teresa Mills of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ), founded by Lois Gibbs of Love Canal renown.
       The groups say, contrary to some reports that may seek to minimize the induced seismicity problem, man-made earthquakes are not necessarily small. Scientists have linked a magnitude 5.6 quake in Prague, Oklahoma in 2011 to waste injection.  A Canadian earthquake of magnitude 4.4 was reported as being “triggered by fluid injection during hydraulic fracturing,” according to a CBC News report by Betsy Trumpener (8/27/2015, “Fracking triggered 2014 earthquake in northeastern B.C.”).
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/fracking-triggered-2014-earthquake-in-northeastern-b-c-1.3203944
        The June 7th National Day of Action is being coordinated by Buckeye Forest Council (BFC), The Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ), Faith Communities Together for a Sustainable Future (FaCT), Frackfree America National Coalition (FANC), Network for Oil & Gas Accountability & Protection, (NEOGAP) and the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA).
       Coordinators say there is still time for more individuals or groups to get involved in the events planned for June 7, 2016, by contacting Frackfree America National Coalition at:
234-201-8007 or by e-mail at frackfreeamerica@gmail.com
       More information about the June 7, 2016 National Day of Action can be found at the following website address and Facebook Event page:
       http://www.frackfreeamerica.org/national-day-of-action—details-and-updates
       https://www.facebook.com/events/1759007060997808/
       For media inquiries or for more information on fracking and related processes, toxic fracking waste, or how to coordinate or participate in a local rally or action, contact us by phone at 234-201-8007 or by e-mail atfrackfreeamerica@gmail.com .

To read the original article click here.

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Media Releases

FrackFree Mahoning Valley schedules April 26 media event

FrackFree Mahoning Valley schedules April 26 media event

By BOB DOWNING Published: April 26, 2016

From a Monday press release:

Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FMV) Will Hold A Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 1:15 PM Press Conference in Youngstown’s Mill Creek Park To React to Comments Made By Ohio Department of Natural Resources Officials Regarding Utica Shale Fracking, And To Present Recently Received Troubling Documents Regarding Spills in Mahoning County:

Geology Professor, Dr. Ray Beiersdorfer and Concerned Citizens of Vienna and Mahoning County Will Speak Briefly To Provide Updated Local, Man-made Earthquake And Fracking Waste Injection Well Information, And To Answer Media Questions

All Media Are Invited To Attend

Youngstown, Ohio, April 25, 2016 – Concerned citizens of Frackfree Mahoning Valley (FMV) will hold a press conference in Youngstown, Ohio, on the public sidewalk in front of Mill Creek Park’s “D.D. and Velma Davis Education & Visitor Center” in Fellows Riverside Gardens on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at 1:15 PM, to give their reaction to statements made by Ohio Department of Natural Resources(ODNR) officials at an event to be held at Mill Creek Park on Tuesday. (The address of Fellows Riverside Gardens is 123 McKinley Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio, 44509.)
At their press conference, FMV will distribute and discuss troubling, newly received Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) well inspection documents.  Speakers will provide recent information and concerns about local fracking waste injection wells and the potential for more injection-well related, man-made earthquakes and their risks to public health, safety and well-being.
Teresa Mills of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) recently received the ODNR documents (copies of which will be distributed at the press conference) as part of an Ohio Open Records request.
According to the Vindicator, ODNR Chief Simmers will address “… recent advancements in the regulation and production of the Utica Shale.”  (Vindicator, 4/10/16, “ODNR official at event”) http://www.vindy.com/news/2016/apr/10/odnr-official-at-event/
Frackfree Mahoning Valley says ODNR promotes unconventional fracking, a process which results in the constant creation of millions of gallons of toxic fracking waste. There is no good or safe solution to the problem of where all of this waste will go.  This enormous waste problem cannot be ignored especially considering our local history of negative impacts that have already occurred in Youngstown and the surrounding area. FMV points out that we are situated in an area of known seismic activity, therefore, injection wells must be stopped.
On Tuesday, FMV will call for ODNR to deny an injection permit for a recently drilled Vienna injection well near a family home and the Youngstown-Warren Regional airport. The group says two Weathersfield/Niles injection wells already linked to earthquakes must remain shut down.
Frackfree Mahoning Valley says that they do not have confidence in ODNR fracking or injection well regulations, especially in light of local and national spills, man-made earthquakes, and air, water, and soil pollution. They do not trust so-called “advancements” in regulations to protect public health, safety, and well-being, since, even though there were allegedly “strict” regulations already in place, they failed to prevent the 2015 Vienna injection well fiasco where extensive water contamination still occurred despite rules and regulations.
Furthermore, local fracking and injection well – related earthquakes still occurred with regulations already in place. Regulations failed to prevent man-made earthquakes in Weathersfield/Niles, Youngstown, and Poland Township. FMV wonders whether the injection wells in North Lima, also too near homes, will be the next to trigger earthquakes.  Obviously, earthquakes cannot be regulated. It is wrong for regulators to pretend that they can control earthquakes. Injection must stop.
FMV says the unprecedented increase in induced seismicity in Oklahoma could be a preview of what might happen locally if Ohio regulators stay on their current path, i.e., permitting more and more injection wells, which is making Ohio essentially a toxic fracking waste dump and risking more water contamination and earthquakes. This is unacceptable.
Geologist Ray Beiersdorfer, Ph.D., Professor of Geology at Youngstown State University, will give a brief statement at the press conference and address any media questions. Concerned citizens of Mahoning County and Vienna, Ohio, will give brief presentations and be available for any media questions afterward.
Copies of documents will be provided for media.
All media are invited to attend.
For more information, please see:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/protect-youngstown/notes-for-april-26/1055807957799473
and:
Frackfree Mahoning Valley:     http://frackfreemahoning.blogspot.com/
For media inquiries or more information, please contact Frackfree Mahoning Valley at:
234-201-0402   or  e-mail:  frackfreemahoning@gmail.com
Read the release on Ohio.com.