(Grand Rapids, OH) FreshWater Accountability Project (FWAP) filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue Patriot Energy Partners of Lisbon, Ohio, for repeated violations of permitted discharges under the federal Clean Water Act.

On April 25, 2017, Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services of Akron, Ohio, filed notice in Federal Court outlining years of non-compliance. The Warren Water Pollution Control Facility was also named for accepting pollutants for treatment in excess of their permit parameters. The Notice of Intent to Sue contends that:

• Even though the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) had been notified repeatedly of such violations, the Patriot facility continued to accept wastewater from hydraulic fracturing with extremely high levels of pollutants and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).

• Despite inadequate permit parameters to fully ensure necessary environmental protections when handling wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, even these minimally necessary protections were not followed.

“The fact that Patriot sent fluids to the pollution control facility that was not equipped to handle the degree of radioactivity and toxicity in minimally processed wastewater from hydraulic fracturing is a betrayal of public trust,” stated Lea Harper, Managing Director of FWAP. “We repeatedly warned both Patriot and Warren Water Pollution Control Facility at the outset of the likelihood of these problems, and we predicted their continued operation would result in a public health threat. Sadly, we were correct, and now have no option but to hold the parties accountable because the OEPA has not.”

The notice states that, “Patriot and Warren ‘s violations of the Clean Water Act, Ohio law, local ordinances, and their respective permits, have injured and will continue to injure the health, environmental, and aesthetic interests of the members of FWAP.” It also notes that Ohio is one of only two states that allow pretreatment facilities like Patriot to discharge treated wastewater from hydraulic fracturing into a publically owned treatment works and ultimately into surface waters.

A link to the Notice of Intent to Sue—including the technical specifications of the alleged violations—can be found at https://fwap.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Signed-NOI-Warren-Patriot-CWA.pdf.