Multistate Groups Demand Coast Guard Action to Protect Ohio River

by Duane Nichols on February 20, 2015

Thirty Eight (38) Conservation Groups Object to GreenHunter Barge Activities

For Immediate Release: February 18, 2015.  Contact: Teresa Mills, 614-507-5651, or  Robin Blakeman, 304-840-4877

Columbus, OH — Citing serious public health and safety concerns, environmental and community groups opposed to barging of fracking waste sent a letter to the U.S. Coast Guard requesting that the agency immediately initiate investigative action related to GreenHunter, LLC to determine the true contents of waste that GreenHunter, LLC may be transporting by barge on inland waterways, including the Ohio River and the Mississippi River, both, sources of drinking water for millions of people.

The letter of February 17, addressed to Captain Richard Timme, also requests the Coast Guard to issue a “cease and desist” order to GreenHunter, LLC to stop transporting any “oilfield wastes” while the Coast Guard makes its determination of what exactly is being shipped by the company. Additionally, the groups’ letter requests the Coast Guard to initiate an “enforcement penalty proceeding” if, indeed, the Coast Guard finds GreenHunter in violation regarding possible shipments of “shale gas extraction wastewater,” or SGEWW.

For the past two years, GreenHunter, LLC has been seeking U.S. Coast Guard permission to transport fracking waste on the Ohio River or other inland waterways.

The group’s letter references a statement by Kirk Trosclair, COO of GreenHunter to the Wheeling Intelligencer (2/6/15), “GreenHunter Water will continue to transport ‘oilfield waste’ until such time as the Coast Guard ultimately decides on the proper definition of ‘shale gas extraction waste water’ and the rules under which such waste water can be transported. Once these rules are finalized, GreenHunter will comply with these rules and regulations.”

The group reads Trosclair’s statement that GreenHunter ‘will continue to transport’ to mean that the company is actively shipping drilling wastes now, with impunity and without legal authority.”

Currently, fracking waste has too many legal exemptions, trade secrets, and euphemisms associated with it making it difficult to ascertain the precise components of the fracking waste. This in itself makes this situation not your typical shipment for transport down the Ohio River. Obviously, the Coast Guard needs to know exactly what substances are being transported on the waterways so that they can protect the public interest.

Dr. Randi Pokladnik says she “is concerned with the ability of local public drinking water systems to remove the numerous aromatic organic, carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals contained in wastes from shale gas extraction.”

“Just the thought of toxic and potentially radioactive unconventional gas well waste being shipped by barge on the Ohio River sickens me” says Robin Blakeman, organizer with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition in Huntington, WV. “I, and three generations of my entire immediate family get our tap water from the Huntington, WV intakes. I am appalled that a company like Green Hunter would try to subvert the Coast Guard’s authority and may already be shipping this noxious substance by barge, as well as by truck near the river’s edge. I hope the Coast Guard and the US EPA will do everything in their power to fully investigate Green Hunter’s operations and stop them from any activity which endangers our tap water!”

One only needs to consider the recent events of Charleston and Fayette County, West Virginia and Toledo, Ohio to grasp the enormity of the consequences of losing – even temporarily – a source of drinking water.

# # # – - - Signatories:

>> Concerned Citizens Ohio/Shalersville, Mary Greer, Shalersville, OH
>> FreshWater Accountability Project, Leatra Harper, Grand Rapids, OH 43522
>> Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save Our Water, Senecaville, OH 43780
>> Concerned Citizens of Medina County, Kathie Jones, Medina, OH
>> CCLT/Uniontown IEL Superfund Site & Stark County Concerned Citizens, Christine Borello,  Plain Township, Ohio
>> Guernsey County Citizens Support on Drilling Issues, Greg Pace, Guernsey County, OH
>> Morrow County Power, Donna Carver, Mt Gilead, OH
>> Radioactive Waste Alert, Carolyn Harding, Columbus, OH
>> Defenders of the Earth Outreach Mission, Rev. Monica Beasley-Martin, Youngstown, OH
>> Southeastern Ohio Fracking Interest Group, Betsy Cook, Lowell, OH (Washington County)
>> West Virginia Sierra Club, Jim Sconyers, Co-Chair, Marcellus Campaign, West Virginia
>> Center for Health, Environment and Justice, Ohio field office, Teresa Mills, Columbus, OH
>> Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Robin Blakeman, `Huntington, WV
>> FaCT-OV, Patricia Jacobson, Wheeling, WV
>> Ohio Alliance for People and Environment, Dr. Joseph Cronin, Yellow Springs, OH
>> Buckeye Forest Council, Heather Cantino, board vice chair, Columbus, OH
>> Concept Zero Student Group, David Nickell, West Kentucky Community College , KY
>> Southwest Ohio No Frack Forum, Joanne Gerson, Cincinnati, OH
>> Athens County Fracking Action Network, Roxanne Groff, steering committee member, Athens, OH
>> Licking County Concerned Citizens for Public, Health and Environment, Carol Apacki, Licking County, OH
>> Jefferson County Ohio Citizens for Environmental Truth, Jonathan Smuck, Steubenville, OH
>> Cumberland Chapter Sierra Club, Judy Lyons, Chair, Lexington, KY
>> Frackfree America National Coalition,Diana Ludwig, McDonald, OH
>> FaCT – Faith Communities Together, Ron Prosek, Convener, Ohio
>> Frackfree Mahoning Valley, Susie Beiersdorfer, Youngstown, OH
>> Guardians of Mill Creek Park, Lynn Anderson, Youngstown, OH
>> Clean Water Action Pennsylvania, Steve Hvozdovich, Pittsburgh, PA
>> We Are Not Expendable, John Williams, Trumbull County, OH
>> People for Safe Water, Marilyn Welker, Springfield, OH
>> Network for Oil and Gas Accountability and Protection, Vanessa Pecec, Concord Twp., OH
>> Coshocton Environmental and Community Awareness, Nick Teti, Coshocton, OH
>> Communities United for Responsible Energy, Caitlin Johnson, Youngstown, OH
>> Concerned Barnesville Area Residents, John Morgan, Belmont County, OH
>>Appalachian Ohio Sierra Club, Loraine McCosker, Athens, OH
>>Northwest Ohio Alliance to Stop Fracking, Leslie Harper
>>Wheeling Water Warriors, Robin Mahonen, Wheeling, WV
>> Friends of Bell Smith Springs, Sam Stearns, Stonefort, IL
>> Food & Water Watch, Alison Auciello, Ohio Agent, Cincinnati, OH

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Carol Borkoski February 21, 2015 at 1:00 pm

I tell you …..

fracking in Ohio and on the river is not right …..


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