PUBLIC MEETING in MARTINS FERRY — “Frack Wastewater Processing”

by Duane Nichols on August 16, 2021

Radioactive fracking waste processing facility in Ohio

Frack Waste Public Meeting in Martins Ferry, Ohio

Invitation from the Concerned Ohio River Residents, August 15, 2021

The city of Martins Ferry in Belmont County, OH is facing a threat to the community: a frack waste processing facility that sits atop the water table that feeds the public drinking water wells. The location of Austin Master Services, LLC is just plain wrong. It is on the banks of the Ohio River, just 2,500 feet from Martins Ferry’s high school football field and a hospital.

This company has been operating in the dark for more than 6 years and now we are shining a light on the threats it poses to the community. Currently, these types of facilities are unregulated, and the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) just recently decided to publish draft rules the day after the Columbus Dispatch exposed the company in a stunning article showing sloppy handling of the radioactive waste. The ODNR was ordered to write rules by the Ohio legislature 8 years ago.

Join us for a public meeting:

Wednesday, August 18th @ 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Location: Martins Ferry Fodor Memorial Park at the stage

At the meeting we will talk about what we know about the current and potential threats this facility poses and questions we have been asking various authorities, and we’ll also discuss what we can do together as a community to protect our water, air, health, and future.

Speakers at the meeting include:

§§§ — Dr. Julie Weatherington-Rice, a geologist, earth scientist and an Ohio groundwater and water quality expert
§§§ — Chief Silverio Caggiano, a Hazardous Materials Weapons of Mass Destruction specialist of 30 years, Ohio State HazMat WMD Technical Advisory Board Member, and recently retired Battalion Fire Chief of Youngstown, OH, the city where Austin Masters first opened up in 2014, but quickly moved their facility to Martins Ferry after Chief Caggiano began investigating the company and their operations.

Here is a link to the Facebook event page if you’d like to invite others.

Here are a few facts about the facility:

>> Austin Masters is a radioactive oil and gas waste processing facility located at 1097 North First Street, at the site of the old Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel plant.
>> Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) inspection reports show sloppy handling of material since opening in 2016, including a leaking roof, waste being stored directly on the floor, spilling out of containers, and being tracked out of the facility by trucks.
>> It sits atop of the aquifer (underground water system) that feeds Martins Ferry’s public drinking water wells and is in a flood plain.

Additional concerns regarding the facility:

§ — ODNR reports state that some of the waste is so highly radioactive that it must be shipped to Utah to be disposed of since no local landfill can take it.

§ — The site is just ~2,500 feet from Purple Rider Stadium, East Ohio Regional Hospital and the United Dairy, and just a few hundred feet from the water plant and homes.

§ — The facility operates on top of the aquifer (underground water network) that feeds the Martins Ferry public drinking water wells and is located in a flood plain.

§ — The EPA’s water assessment of Ferry’s water wells states that they are highly susceptible to contamination – adding to the importance of protecting our water.

§ — Oil & gas wastewater or “brine” contains heavy metals, toxic levels of salt, and radium. Radium flows with water, can travel with dust, and can be breathed or ingested into the human body.

§ — Because radium has a chemical make-up similar to calcium, once inside the body it accumulates in bones.

§ — Facility operates with open doors, potentially leading to contamination of the community with radioactive airborne particles.

§ — If a fire were to ignite, the water used to put out the fire could contaminate groundwater and drinking water wells.

§ — It is not known what other types of hazardous waste is being sent to Austin Masters.
ODNR does not track the lifecycle of the oil and gas industry waste stream.

§ — Workers are potentially being exposed and are likely spreading the radioactive material from their clothes and shoes out into the community.


Contact Address: Concerned Ohio River Residents, P.O. Box 135, Bridgeport, OH 43912

Check out CORR’s website at for updates, analyses, and events.


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