Anti-fracking organizers in Youngstown, Ohio won a huge victory earlier this week, when the state ordered the closure of 5 fracking waste injection wells that have been linked to nearly a dozen local earthquakes over the last year. The epicenter of the most recent 4.0 magnitude earthquake was an injection well operated by D&L Energy, which accepts huge volumes of fracking waste from Ohio and neighboring states. The site has been controversial since it beacame operational (and the earthquakes began) a year ago, and has also been the target of countless community organizing efforts, including an action in late November when youth, organizers, and community activists blocked entrance gates to the facility for a number of hours, and highlighted state-wide resistance to the gas industry. The closure of the well is a huge victory for local groups that continue to organize for a ban on fracking, recognizing that closure of the wells is a significant step in the right direction, but is by no means enough to protect Ohio from the full impacts of fracking.
The closure of these wells is also an unprecedented step by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and our Governor, John Kasich (both of which have been championing the gas-drilling boom) in acknowledging the realities and impacts of fracking. The recent closure of these wells has exposed (at the very least) a need for regulations, oversight, and industry accountability that are currently not in place, and the recently shuttered wells are only 5 of over 170. These wells continue to pose widespread risks in communities across the state, as Ohio continues to accept leftover fracking chemicals from states like Pennsylvania, which (in juxtaposition to Ohio) severely limit and heavily regulate fracking waste injection wells.
While closing the injection wells in Youngstown is a step in the right direction, by no means is it enough to protect Ohio citizens and communities from the full impacts of fracking, and we need to challenge our elected officials until they recognize the countless destructive realities of fracking, not just the earthquakes. Join us on January 10th for a press conference and rally with State Rep. Bob Hagan, who has called for legislation supporting a state-wide moratorium on fracking.
And to read more about the earthquakes in Ohio, check out the links below:
And for more information on the fight to ban fracking in Ohio, visit: