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.