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Charges Reduced for The Athens 8 Arrested at the K&H Injection Well Rally

The Eight farmers and local business leaders, who were charged with criminal trespass for blocking trucks carrying fracking waste leading to a fracking waste disposal site operated by K&H Partners of West Virginia in early February, all took a plea deals this morning in Athens County Municipal Court.  The eight plead to a lower charge of disorderly conduct, a minor misdemeanor, and received a $150 fine, $100 of which was suspended.  Those arrested include: Kip Rondy, owner of Green Edge Farms; Michelle Ajamian, owner of Shagbark Seed and Mill; Christine Hughes, owner of the Village Bakery, Smiles Welch, a local pastor, Sean Pavlac, Timothy Fultz, Caprice Huffman and Liz Florentino.

Kip Rondy read the following statement at the hearing:

“Your Honor, we, the persons now before the Court, are persons of reason who have done all that we could within the statute of the law to prevent the destruction of our natural, economic and social environment.  The Commissioners of Athens County, as well as the City Council of Athens Ohio, have unanimously enacted a resolution opposing the development of an additional injection well at the K&H site.  K&H at present is daily injection 2,100 barrels of toxic, radioactive waste at its location in Troy Township.  Much of that said waste is being generated by out-of-state fracking operations.  The new proposed injection well at the K&H facility will allow for the disposal of an additional 4,000 barrels of waste, daily.  Despite appeals form the citizenry of the Athens community, the aforementioned actions of both the elected county and city officials, documented earthquakes, and other significant environmental damage at other injection well sites within the boundaries of the state of Ohio, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has proven to be unresponsive in addressing these community concerns.  ODNR has failed in its duty as protectorate of the citizenry and the resources delegated to them by statute.  The ODNR has failed to hold public hearings concerning the proposed injection well, ignored and denied lawful information requests, and continues to act in a capricious and arbitrary manner concerning the citizen’s stated objections.  It is then, when we the Citizenry of Athens county, facing the real and permanent threat to our aquifer, our air, our earth – when the will of lawfully elected officials is ignored – that the acts of civil disobedience before the court today are not merely justified, but become obligatory.  Citizens so informed must, at some level, engage in civil disobedience on behalf of themselves, future generations, and society at large.”

A support rally led by the Activist Choir followed the sentencing near the steps of the Athens County courthouse.

Christine Hughes Protecting Her Communtiy

Christine Hughes is one of the Athens 8 who were arrested for blocking fracking waste from entering an injection well owned by K&H Partners of West Virginia near Torch, Ohio on February 1st, 2014.

Timothy Fultz Proud to Take Action to Stop Injection Wells

Timothy Fultz was on of the Athens 8 who were arrested for blocking fracking waste from entering an injection well owned by K&H Partners of West Virginia near Torch, Ohio on February 1st, 2014.

“Extractive industries have rarely been beneficial to the residents of Appalachia.” – Kip Rondy

Farmer Kip Rondy is one of the Athens 8 who were arrested for blocking fracking waste from entering an injection well owned by K&H Partners of West Virginia near Torch, Ohio on February 1st, 2014.

The pretrial and rally for the Athens 8 has been pushed back to Monday March 24th at 8am at the Athens Municipal Court.

The pretrial and rally for the Athens 8 has been pushed back to Monday March 24th at 8am at the Athens Municipal Court. The Athens 8 were arrested for blocking fracking waste from entering an injection well owned by K&H Partners of West Virginia near Torch, Ohio on February 1st, 2014.

An event to celebrate Appalachian Activism and raise funds for the Athens 8s’ legal fees is being planned. It will feature a community potluck with live music and speakers—tentative date is Sat March 22, 5-8 pm at the Dairy Barn! Stay tuned for details. You can also donate to the legal fees by going to https://www.wepay.com/donations/9881

Donation button is to your right!

Eight farmers and local business leaders blocked the driveway leading to a fracking waste disposal site operated by K&H Partners of West Virginia. The blockade was supported by more than 150 Torch, Coolville, and Athens Ohio residents.

All eight were arrested by the Athens County Sheriff’s Office and charged with trespassing. Please donate to help with their legal fees.

Pretrial Monday Feb. 24th, 2014 at 8 am

The 8 farmers and local food business leaders who were arrested Saturday Feb. 1, 2014 for blocking the entrance to K&H Partners of West Virginia injection well storage site plead not guilty 2/4/14 to trespassing charges. The pretrial is set for Monday Feb. 24th, 2014 at 8am in the Athens Ohio City Building on Washington Street.

8 Farmers and Local Foods Leaders Arrested for Blocking Driveway to K&H Injection Well

Eight farmers and local foods business leaders blocked the driveway of an injection site that receives nearly 3000 barrels of frack waste per day.  The eight held a banner reading “Our Water, Our Lives! Their Poison, Their Lies!” and stopped commerce for much of a business day.  At least two trucks carrying toxic frack waste were unable to enter the site.

The blockade was supported by more than 150 Torch, Coolville, and Athens residents including many families with children. The rally focused on the theme “OUR WATER, OUR LIVES, THEIR POISON, THEIR LIES”. Participants spoke out about the lack of local control over injection well permitting, water contamination with toxic chemicals, and the need for more responsible oversight by ODNR and elected officials.

The site is operated by K&H partners of West Virginia.  The eight were released saturday night after being arrested and charged with trespassing.

Currently the Troy Township site contains a single Class II injection well and associated waste tanks; the current well injects an average of 2,098 barrels of toxic frack waste per day. A second proposed well at the site would receive an additional 4,000 barrels per day. The injection site is located 1.7 miles from the Hocking, 2.2 miles from the Ohio River, and 2.2 miles from Coolville Elementary School. 53% of this waste will come from other states with stronger regulations than Ohio.

In December, the Athens City Council and the Athens County Commissioners voted unanimously to oppose the permitting of the second well.  After the ODNR ignored this vote and granted the permit anyway, the Athens County Fracking Action Network has appealed the permit.  The eight arrestees and their supporters called for K&H and the ODNR to revoke the permit and called for local control over injection wells.  The majority of Athens County residents oppose injection wells.

 

Ralliers also cited the recent Freedom Enterprises spill in West Virginia as a reminder to prevent similar disasters in other Appalachian communities.

Support Rally at the Athens County Courthouse Monday 2/3/14 at 9:15 AM

Support Rally at the Athens County Courthouse Monday 2/3/14 at 9:15 AM at the arraignment of the eight farmers and local business leaders who were arrested for blocking frack waste trucks from entering an injection well disposal site operated by K&H Partners of West Virginia on Saturday. Those arrested include: Kip Rondy, owner of Green Edge Farms; Michelle Ajamian, owner of Shagbark Seed and Mill; Christine Hughes, owner of the Village Bakery; local pastor Smiles Welch, Liz Florentino, Caprice Huffman, Timothy Fultz, and Sean Pavlac, all of Athens County.