New brine testing results prompt more questions, no answers
COLUMBUS - State Rep. Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) wrote a letter to Governor Kasich and ODNR Director Jim Zehringer today, calling for answers on "fracking" wastewater chemical composition in light of a recent brine testing at the Hazel Ginsburg well in Athens County.
The full text of the letter follows:
Dear Governor Kasich,
I am writing to express serious concern that the safety and health of Ohio citizens is in jeopardy from the chemical contents of fracking waste-water. With this letter I have enclosed the results of testing reviewed by Dr. Benjamin Stout, professor of biology at Wheeling Jesuit University, on brine waste-water from right here in Ohio. The independent testing of brine from Athens County led Dr. Stout to conclude that the waste-water should be classified as hazardous material and treated as such.
As I am sure you are aware, Ohio is a popular destination for the disposal of water used in the hydraulic fracturing process. Each year, Pennsylvania pays Ohio over one million dollars to cross state lines and inject their wastewater into the earth. In all, over two million barrels are injected each year from Pennsylvania oil and gas operations. As drilling activity is set to increase exponentially in Eastern Ohio over the next few years, even more waste water will be disposed of near our homes and in our communities.
Given the proliferation of class II injection wells in Ohio, it is imperative that we have timely and accurate research at our disposal in order to best protect our families, communities, and environment. When was the last time ODNR tested the make-up of brine and other fracking waste? The last injection well inspection? Furthermore, the enclosed information provided to me by concerned constituents was originally presented to, but never addressed by, ODNR. Why are the concerns of Ohioans being ignored by their own government?
I urge you to direct ODNR to examine the enclosed brine testing results, and to make public ODNR's inspection process for brine and class II injection wells. I look forward to your response.
Robert F. Hagan
State Representative, 60th House District
Cc: ODNR Director Jim Zehringer