Fracking waste may be impacting politics and science

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Justice scales

Editor:

Did you know that in the past year the Portage County Commissioners, the Portage County Township Association, the Portage County Health Department, Ohio Township Association, the Ohio Farm Bureau, various grassroots groups and many concerned individuals have sent requests to the ODNR and Ohio Governor John Kasich to stop injecting hydraulic fracking waste into injection wells in Ohio until further study can be made regarding the effect on our groundwater?

None of these requests have been acknowledged, but then again, one must consider the several million dollars in campaign contributions gas and oil have contributed to state candidates, political committees and parties in just Ohio.

Picture the immense size of the Ohio State football field. Imagine it has sides 12.5 feet tall. Fill it with chemical and radiological waste 185 times and that is how much waste fluid was injected into our aquifers under high pressure in 2014.

There were 134 football fields full injected in 2013 and 118 in 2012. There will be much more this year.

These are statistics for the entire state of Ohio.

Portage County took 89,293,680 gallons of frack waste in 2015. Trumbull, Ashtabula and Athens counties are much bigger dumping grounds than Portage. They are really getting hammered.

What is in this fluid you may ask and so may our first responders, the people at the front line of hazard response. Guess what, we don’t get to know, it’s gas and oil’s ” proprietary” secret. Oil and gas got a pass on that one, in fact, they are exempt from seven major federal environmental laws, including the Safe Drinking Act of 1974.

They got that exemption in 2005 with the Energy Policy Act. Senate Bill 315 in 2004, a bill that stripped all local zoning control regarding gas and oil projects and exploration in townships and municipalities, was sponsored by a state senator who is now a lead lobbyist for the gas and oil industry.

Injection waste comes to eastern Ohio from Pennsylvania and West Virginia and contains a slurry of water, sand and many chemicals, I’m talking hundreds, but remember they are “proprietary.” Who gets that kind of pass to pollute our water?

Scientific studies show that of the chemicals known, many are toxic to mammals. Some of these are corrosion inhibitors, biocides, and benzene. Studies have also shown reproductive and developmental toxicity.

On a last note: Oil and gas scientists have recently admitted that perhaps the materials and methods haven’t been adequately tested yet.

But, that’s not a problem for them, campaign contributions have made them cozy sleeping partners.

Jim Eskridge
Patty Eskridge
Ravenna, Ohio

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