News of note for Members & Friends
Informing Local Residents About the Ohio Valley PetroHub
FWAP holds meetings with local communities to alert those who will be most directly impacted about the downsides the industry does not want them to know.
In the past few weeks, FWAP has been knocking on doors, phone banking, doing direct mailings, and holding public meetings in the area where PTT Global has proposed to build its petrochemical complex in Dilles Bottom, Belmont County, OH. We are doing our best to make sure the community that will be most directly impacted by the PTTG petrochemical complex is informed of the risks associated with the facility, the foreign companies that will profit at the expense of residents’ health, and the alternatives that can provide clean, good, steady jobs in the area.
Please join us for (and spread the word about) our upcoming community meetings:
Draft Air Permit Issued for Belmont Petrochemical Complex
On Friday, the Ohio EPA issued the draft air permit for the PTTG petrochemical complex. FWAP is currently reviewing the draft permit and will be submitting written comments and encourages everyone to do the same. To be considered as part of the official record, written comments must be received by Ohio EPA/Southeast District Office by 5pm on December 3, 2018. Comments can be mailed to Kimbra Reinbold, Ohio EPA, DAPC Southeast District Office (SEDO), 2195 East Front Street, Logan, Ohio, 43138. Comments can also be faxed to (740) 385-6490.
A hearing on the draft air permit will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at Shadyside High School, 3890 Lincoln Ave., Shadyside, OH 43947. FreshWater will be in attendance and encourages everyone to show up for this important hearing!
FWAP has been and will continue to be aggressive in combatting all efforts to turn the Ohio River Valley into the next “cancer alley” through petrochemical development.
For more information on the petrochemical buildout proposed for the Ohio River Valley, check out this informative article by our friends at DeSmog Blog.
WE WON!! ORSANCO delays vote on axing critical protections for the Ohio River
FreshWater submitted multiple rounds of comments to ORSANCO and a letter to Governor Kasich supporting the maintenance of the Ohio River Pollution Control Standards — We celebrate this victory and will stay vigilant in advocating for these critical protections!
Earlier this month, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) decided to delay its vote on its proposal to eliminate the Pollution Control Standards it sets for the Ohio River. FreshWater submitted multiple comments on this proposal that was guaranteed to result in an increase in pollutants into the Ohio River. We also wrote Governor Kasich to express our opposition. Thanks to widespread public opposition, ORSANCO postponed its vote on this terrible proposal, leaving the Pollution Control Standards in place for the timebeing. However, we must remain vigilant in watching ORSANCO’s next moves and keep working to ensure these critical protections for our Ohio River are maintained, supported, and enforced.
Rosebud’s proposed Stautner Mine to discharge to Standingstone Fork and Tappan Lake
As Rosebud moves through the permitting process, FreshWater urges Ohio EPA to uphold its Clean Water Act responsibilities
Rosebud is proposing to construct its Stautner Mine in Harrison County, Ohio. The project would include a direct discharge of coal washing wastewater to Standingstone Fork, a tributary to Tappan Lake. In August, FreshWater submitted comments to Ohio EPA urging the agency to uphold its antidegradation review responsibilities under the Clean Water Act. In addition to being a highly valued aesthetic and recreational resource, Tappan Lake is an exceptional warm water habitat that provides the drinking water for Scio and Cadiz.
FreshWater will continue to keep an eye on developments with this project, provide updates on opportunities for public environment, and hold agencies accountable for carrying out their regulatory responsibilities.
Legal Update: FreshWater Accountability Project v. Patriot Water Treatment, et al.
FreshWater has standing to pursue its claims!
FreshWater won a significant victory in its ongoing lawsuit to hold Patriot Water Treatment LLC and the City of Warren accountable for Clean Water Act violations affecting the Mahoning River. Judge Benita Pearson ruled that FreshWater has legal standing to pursue its claims in court. This significant victory is not only important for this lawsuit but helpful for future plaintiffs suffering environmental harms and seeking for enforce the Clean Water Act through citizen suit.
FreshWater’s hope and intention continues to be that this matter is resolved in a way that benefits the long-term stability and quality of the Warren POTW and the Mahoning River.
What We’re Reading: Saudi America by Bethany McLean
The reporter who broke the Enron scandal explains that Fracked Gas is indeed a Ponzi Scheme
After reading prizewinning journalist Eliza Griswold’s recent book Amity & Prosperity, we trust her book recommendations. So when she suggested folks pick up a copy of Saudi America by Bethany McLean, we listened. While you’re waiting to order your copy from your local bookstore, here’s an interview with Bethany McLean on how fracking still hasn’t made any money and likely won’t ever.
Protect our Right to Free Speech!
Oppose Senate Bill 250!
While water protectors and activists work to protect the precious resources that give us life, some Ohio politicians are seeking to criminalize peaceful protest.
Senate Bill 250 would add significant criminal charges to persons or “any organization found guilty of complicity” in violation of Ohio’s trespassing, aggravated trespassing, or criminal mischief laws while on property considered to be “critical infrastructure”—which the bill defines as pipelines, petroleum refineries, chemical/polymer/rubber manufacturing facility, “a natural gas company facility,” gas processing plants, ports, any freight transportation facilities, among many other types of fossil fuel infrastructure.
Senate Bill 250 bill not only criminalizes in-person trespass on “critical infrastructure,” but criminalizes flying a drone over these facilities. The bill also criminalizes people and organizations who compensate or repay individuals for engaging in peaceful protest through trespassing, holding those “complicit” persons/organizations vicariously liable for ten times the penalties faced by the trespassing individual.
Senate Bill 250 mirrors bills introduced in dozens of other states— derived from model legislation produced by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—in response to the 2016 protests at Standing Rock over Energy Transfer Partner’s Dakota Access Pipeline. These bills are designed to prevent water protectors from using peaceful protest to protect our communities from relentless degradation and abuse by oil and gas companies.
Please join us in signing this petition opposing SB 250. We also encourage you to contact your legislators and write letters to the editor expressing opposition to this harmful bill.
Featured Frack Waste Facility
Buckeye Brine, Adams #1 and #3 Injection Wells, Coschocton County
FreshWater has been keeping its eye on the rapidly growing number of frack waste disposal and processing facilities here in Ohio. Each month, we’ll be spot-lighting one facility to alert folks to the location and activities of these facilities.
This month’s facilities are the Adams #1 and #3 injection wells owned and operated by Buckeye Brine and located in Coshocton County. Both wells are currently permitted as Class II injection wells, meaning they can only accept waste from the oil and gas industry. However, Buckeye Brine is currently trying to convert both of these wells to Class I injection wells in order to accept other types of waste. Both wells are known to have problems. An Ohio EPA Letter of Deficiency issued to Buckeye Brine and dated October 3, 2017 notes that both wells have significant structural problems.
The local community is organizing to stop these conversions from being permitted. Ohio EPA recently extended the public comment period for the two draft permits to operate until November 26, 2018 and is considering holding another public meeting on the matter. Comments can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Ohio EPA, Division of Drinking and Ground Waters, Attn: UIC Unit Supervisor, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049.
Eyes on the Horizon
Ushering in the Clean Energy Future
Renewables are proving to be the best bet for utilities, and NextEra Energy calls our present moment “the best renewables development environment in our history,” and expects continued growth. In Indiana, renewables are the cheapest option to replace coal (yes, even cheaper than converting coal-power plants to gas plants or building new gas plants!).
And lastly, some encouraging words from Rebecca Solnit on why the climate fight is only over if you think it is.