Industry, Environmental Groups Plug Bill To Address 'Orphan' Oil And Gas Wells Across State

Melanie Houston, director of Oil and Gas for the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund, also relayed her group's support for the bill.

"Orphan wells pose a hazard to the environment and to human health and safety," she said. "Until they are located and properly plugged, they are pathways to pollution."

Ms. Houston said the risks include fire, overflow of oil or brine into ecologically sensitive areas like streams, and underwater contamination. She noted orphan wells have been found under buildings, houses, lawns and recreation areas in both rural and urban settings.

Off the Trail- A Conceptual Walk in Wayne National Forest

Keep Wayne Wild (KWW), is a group of dedicated volunteers working to protect Wayne National Forest (WNF) from predatory gas extraction activities. KWW works to highlight the beauty and intrinsic value of Wayne National Forest. It is well known that people will protect what they love, and to that end, we have created: “Off the Trail- A Conceptual Walk in Wayne National Forest.” It is our goal to showcase all that is wild and visually powerful about Ohio’s only national forest.

Hands Off Public Land! Rally to protect public land from fracking

Alliance for Ohio’s Future will hold a public demonstration on Wednesday, June 14th at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus to protest HB 49, a state budget bill that contains Amendment HC 2241, which strips the governor of the power to appoint members to the 4-member Oil and Gas Leasing Commission, and gives these appointment powers to the speaker of the house and president of the senate.'

This state park could be the number one target for fracking operations

Salt Fork State Park is Ohio’s largest state park, and one of its nicest. Located in Guernsey County, it also happens to be in a region with a lot of natural gas activity. Salt Fork’s size and location make it the number one target for fracking operations should the Ohio General Assembly open state lands to drilling this summer.

Learn more about the Ohio House’s proposal to allow fracking in state parks here.

Vinton County quake probably not fracking-related, state says

Melanie Houston, director of oil and gas for the Ohio Environmental Council, said the earthquake Wednesday renews the environmental coalition’s concerns about fracking.

Fracking involves pumping a mixture of water, sand and chemicals deep underground to fracture rock formations and release trapped oil and gas. The wastewater that comes up with the oil and gas can be reused but eventually requires disposal — often by injection deep underground.

Hundreds of earthquakes have been linked to drilling operations and injection wells in Ohio and other states.

Vinton County Has First-Recorded Earthquake

“We looked and saw how close the earthquake’s epicenter was located to injection wells for fracking. In an eight to ten mile range, there were seven different injection wells,” said Melanie Houston, Director of Oil and Gas at Ohio Environmental Council.

“We have put in an inquiry to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and their Public Interest office, and we haven’t received a response from them yet,” she said.

A 3.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Near the Wayne National Forest

This afternoon, a 3.4 magnitude earthquake struck near the Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio. The earthquake occurred at 12:24 p.m., with an epicenter 1.24 miles south of McArthur, in Vinton County. Details are still emerging about the event.  Earthquakes in the area are uncommon, especially at such a magnitude. This is the second 3.0 magnitude or higher earthquake in southeastern Ohio since the beginning of April.


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