Vienna, OH – Concerned residents blocked access to an injection well in Trumbull County this morning, protesting the failure of Ohio regulators to adequately test and monitor dumping of toxic fracking waste. One supporter locked himself to the gate to prevent all trucks carrying fracking waste from entering the site. Two activists were detained by police, and the supporter locked to the gate was eventually and safely removed by authorities and placed under arrest. The supporter and detained activists were all released by police without bail a few hours later.
Trumbull County residents, along with supporters from Frack Free Mahoning and Ohio Fracktion, gathered at the well site on Sodom Hutchings Road in Vienna Township, to express concerns about the contents of the 1,000 gallons of fracking wastewater that spilled along five miles of road in Fowler Township, a nearby residential area on July 7. They are demanding that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) begin systematically testing out-of-state frack waste that is injected into over 170 wells throughout Ohio.
According to spokesperson Mike Settles, emergency responders from Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted only a simple pH test of the spilled frack waste lining the roads of Fowler Township. As far as further testing for radiation, heavy metals, and other chemicals, Settles explained that EPA doesn’t “have the resources” to perform testing unless there is a “legitimate concern” of environmental damage. Thick, rust colored residue was still visible on the road over a week after the spill.