With the combination of ramped up fracking operations here in Ohio and the continual deliveries of out of state frack waste, Ohio injection wells are busier than ever. In fact, our state government agencies are getting big bucks to dump this radioactive waste below the surface, to be forgotten about forever. For the safety of our community, it’s time to start shutting these wells down!
Appalachia Resist! will be hosting a rally outside the Athens County Courthouse on Wed Oct. 3rd at 1:30pm to coincide with Madeline ffitch’s pre-trial for her June 26th action of blockading the Ginsberg Well in Athens County, Ohio, resulting in a felony charge of inducing panic. Please come out and make some noise! If you can’t attend, perhaps you can take some time during Wednesday to give the folks at Ohio Division of Natural Resources a call and demand that the Ginsberg well be shut down. Looking for some reasons? Below are few, and feel free to look here for the evidence.
SHUT DOWN THE GINSBURG WELL!
For over 25 years this well has been subject to suspension orders and violations including faulty valves, erosion, a full impoundment pit, pollution and contamination, and failing to pass its mechanical integrity test.
In 2006, a year’s worth of inadequate, self-reported integrity testing had resulted in the ODNR ordering the Ginsburg Well to suspend its operations. However, the well was not fixed. Instead, the Ginsburg Well went on to fail its next mechanical integrity test. Though ODNR claims to have the strictest regulations of Class II injection wells, and admits that what goes into them is toxic, it neither investigated what was injected into this well during that year, nor where that waste ended up.How do we know that the chemicals, heavy metals and radioactive particles that lace fracking wastewater aren’t seeping into our groundwater when the Ginsburg well operator is allowed to inject it into a mechanically unsound well for 18 months? The ODNR says they will not attend to these problems until drinking water contamination has already occurred.
This well has been repeatedly cited for an over-full impoundment pit and the evidence of spillage from that pit. Analysis of a sample taken this summer from the impoundment pit shows toxic levels of carcinogenic materials such as toluene, benzene and arsenic, as well as radioactive alpha-particles considered the most dangerous to organisms when ingested. How do we know those radioactive particles are not seeping down the hill as part of “oily soil” surrounding the impoundment pit?
Ladd Ridge Road is a narrow gravel road with steep hills and tight corners; bridges providing access to the Ginsburg well are posted for 15-ton weight limits (a weight much lower than a semi-truck filled with liquid). During the protest on June 26 of this year, police evacuated protestors from the well-site claiming they were a public hazard on the road; yet semi-trucks filled with toxic fracking waste are allowed to travel this road at all times of the day and night! Neighbors complain of the frequency of the truck traffic and the size of trucks on the road, claiming to have had numerous near-accidents trying to get out of the way of the trucks.
Regulation of Class II injection wells, no matter how “strict” it seems on paper, is not working. ODNR does not have enough inspectors to keep up with it’s increasing load of oil and gas wells. As the number of fracking wells in Ohio and other states continues to increase, so will the violations and the risk for accidents, spills and contamination at the injection wells that receive the waste.The mounting number of disasters and violations in Ohio and other states show the oil and gas industry’s blatant disdain for safety regulations. Current regulations permit the industry to self-monitor, allowing those regulations to be ignored, faked and manipulated.
Don’t wait until our water is contaminated and the health of our community compromised—shut down the Hazel Ginsburg Injection Well now!