Hagan Demanding Answers From Ohio Regulators

COLUMBUS- In light of the shocking revelation that up to 20,000 gallons of fracking wastewater were illegally dumped into a tributary of the Mahoning River, State Representative Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) questioned the directors of the Ohio EPA and Department of Natural Resources as to why local officials had been left in the dark regarding the alarming incident. The Youngstown lawmaker requested that all relevant information be made available to the public immediately


*Full text of the letter is below:

February 5, 2013
Director Scott NallyOhio Environmental Protection AgencyP.O. Box 1049
Columbus, OH 43216-1049

Dear Director Nally,

I am writing with great trepidation as I read the news reports regarding the illegal dumping of fracking waste from a drilling site near Youngstown. Such distressing news calls into question whether Ohio's regulations, oversight, and emergency response procedures are adequate for protecting our environment and communities from oil and gas related disasters.
As I am sure you know, it was reported this morning that up to 20,000 gallons of suspected fracking waste were illegally dumped into a storm drain near the site of the D&L Energy Group headquarters in Youngstown. This waste, which may well contain oil and brine water laced with toxic chemicals, poses a clear and present danger to the citizens of the Mahoning Valley, as it had made its way into a tributary that feeds the Mahoning River.
While I understand that cleanup efforts are currently underway, I am appalled by not only the recklessness of the illegal dumping, but also of the secrecy and lack of communication and transparency surrounding the incident. Why did it take the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency four days to release just a cursory statement that provides little detail or insight into the dumping fiasco? And why do elected officials from Youngstown, myself included, continue to be kept in the dark on specifics?
In addition, the incident reportedly occurred near the D&L Energy Group headquarters and site of their now shuttered injection well that was linked to earthquakes in 2011. Why 20,000 gallons of suspected fracking fluid would be present at a closed down injection well is a mystery that is both puzzling and extremely alarming, especially when one considers the company in question has a history of at least 120 environmental and regulatory violations at 32 injection wells across Ohio and Pennsylvania.
All in all, there remain too many question marks surrounding the illegal dumping of brine from the D&L Energy Group site, and I am severely disappointed by the response of both the Ohio EPA and the Department of Natural Resources. It is through transparency and cooperation that we can best protect our communities from this type of harm. I urge you to release any and all information you have regarding the incident so that the public has the truth of the matter that they deserve.
Thank you for your timely consideration of this request. I look forward to your response.

Representative Robert F. Hagan

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