fracking

a photo of battalion chief Silverio Caggiano
JULIE GRANT / THE ALLEGHENY FRONT

new analysis by the nonprofit, Partnership for Policy Integrity finds that “trade secret” chemicals were injected into gas and oil wells nearly 11,000 times in Ohio for over five years. 

A dozen people are scurrying around a church basement in Youngstown, Ohio. They’re arranging tables and chairs, setting up paperwork, and hanging up signs that read “Ohio Health Registry.”

Ten years ago, the fracking industry was already booming in Pennsylvania, but people in Ohio were just starting to hear about it. Many were excited that it would help eastern Ohio's struggling rural economy. 

Deciding what happens on private property might seem like a basic right. But when it comes to energy development, Ohio and other oil and gas-producing states have laws that can force landowners to lease their underground mineral rights to energy companies.

Julie Grant, The Allegheny Front

A decade ago, people in Ohio hadn’t heard much about fracking for natural gas in the state. But since then, the ups and downs of the gas industry have literally changed the rural landscape of eastern Ohio.

photo of gavel and handcuffs
SHUTTERSTOCK

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, April 9:

Supporting equipment at a drilling site
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

A new study shows that the drilling boom in south east Ohio is not contributing as much as it could to the local economy.

One of the authors, Amanda Weinstein of the University of Akron, says part of this loss is because many of the workers in those drilling areas are spending their earnings elsewhere.

Supporting equipment at a drilling site
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The Ohio EPA is considering changes to its regulations on air quality at fracking and natural gas transmissions sites.

The state Environmental Protection Agency is doing what deputy director Heidi Griesmer calls a periodic rules review. One thing it is considering has to do with changes in regulations. 

photo of Pipeline
NEXUS GAS TRANSMISSION

A landowner in the city of Green told the Akron Beacon Journal that construction of the Nexus natural gas pipeline polluted a pond and wetlands on his property.

According to the report, construction is happening across the front of the family’s property and includes a process called dewatering.

photo of John Parker
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

An Ohio bill would allow for the sale of fracking brine to be used in snow and ice removal. But some alternatives are being discussed at a symposium in Cleveland this week.

In recent years, many cities have mixed brine with road salt to lower the melting temperature of snow and ice. H.B. 393 would allow one of the byproducts from fracking to be used for that purpose.

Fracking operation
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

A three-year study of the possible health effects of fracking on people who live near shale drilling sites is entering its final phase. 

The National Institutes of Health is paying for the research. Travis Knuckles, an assistant professor in the West Virginia University School of Public Health, is conducting it.

He says the overall study involves multiple aspects of fracking, but the current work focuses on air quality issues near wells that could impact cardiovascular health.

a photo of vote buttons
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Here's your morning headlines for Tuesday, June 12: 

Actiivist Lynn Anderson
YouTube

The Ohio Supreme Court now says a local anti-fracking measure that was taken off the May 8th primary ballot in Youngstown must be put back on.  The court’s ruling two weeks before the election -- and after early voting had begun -- creates some problems.  

Deputy Mahoning County Board of Elections Director Thomas McCabe says the board placed a call to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office immediately after the decision for guidance on what to do. 

Photo of David Leland, Democratic Representative of Columbus
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A central Ohio lawmaker is seeking a ban on fracking in certain parts of the state. The proposal comes as a commission that regulates this types of drilling prepares for its first meeting.

Democratic Rep. David Leland wants to prevent oil and gas companies from drilling in public parks and nature preserves.

Statehouse News Bureau

One of the Democrats running for governor is calling for an end to oil and gas drilling in Ohio. While his four primary opponents aren’t embracing that idea, they agree that more needs to be done to protect the environment. 

Dennis Kucinich says he wants to use eminent domain to shut down fracking wells and initiate a class-action lawsuit to make fracking companies pay for damage to the environment.

“Those who have poisoned Ohio’s people and the land will be made to pay.”

Connie Pillich disagrees with Kucinich’s approach.

Drilling Crew
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The Trump administration decided quietly over the holidays to abandon proposed federal regulations governing fracking on public lands. For Ohio environmentalists, the decision is big and bad news. For Ohio’s oil and gas industry, it’s a practical approach to regulation. 

Drillling rig in northeast Ohio
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Ohio’s oil and gas drilling boom started in 2010, peaked in 2013 and has been fading since then.  Now there are signs it may be picking up again. 

Larry Hecht runs Pier-48 on the Ohio River.  It’s an intermodal terminal for loading and off-loading barges.

At the height of the shale boom it got 25 bulk shipments of drilling supplies like barite a month. Then came the bust, and that traffic stopped.

work on drilling pad
Tim Rudell / Drillling Pad Construction

Speculation is continuing among analysts and in trade publications that eastern Ohio’s Utica Shale play may be firing up again.  July numbers for things like drilling rig count and infrastructure investment are expected to be up again. 

Utica Shale Drillling RIg
Tim Rudell / WKSU

How much has shale drilling meant to Ohio’s economy? A new report by researchers from Cleveland State and Youngstown State universities says more than $50 billion since 2011.   

The study, led by Andrew Thomas of Cleveland State, used government and industry data to determine how much has been invested in developing Ohio’s Utica shale.

But he says that’s only part of the picture.

Aerodynamics mobile laboratory
Drexel University

EDITOR'S NOTE: The original version of this story incorrectly said Bentley Systems was a funder of the research. Also, the research shows carbon monoxide levels dropped. The original story said carbon dioxide.

The percentage of methane in the air of a Marcellus Shale area of northern Pennsylvania was reported in the Drexel University analysis to be higher than it was before the oil and gas drilling boom came there. 

Drilling Rig
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Since development of the Utica Shale play began in 2010, Ohio property owners have be paid an estimated $2 billion in bonuses for signing drilling leases.  After seven years, with many leases expiring, some -- but not all -- of those owners may get paid again. 

Utica Shale Drillling Site
Tim Rudell / WKSU

This week the U.S. EPA issued its full report on the potential risks of fracking to ground water.  The  study was mandated by Congress six years ago leaves some big questions unansered

The report did not settle the question of whether fracking does or does not pose a threat to drinking water. The agency’s summary cites too many gaps in available data to reach a definitive conclusion.

Wayne Nationa Forest in SE Ohio
U.S. Forest Service

Oil and gas drilling leases in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest are going to be auctioned Tuesday. 

photo of Mary Taylor
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Some of the state’s highest ranking Republicans are coming out to support the oil and gas industry and its impact on Ohio in an effort to counter rhetoric in the presidential race. 

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has said she’d like to crack down on the use of fossil fuels and create sanctions on the natural gas drilling practice known as fracking.

satellite of algae bloom
NOAA

  The U.S. House has passed the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act, authorizing $300 million a year over the next five years to try to improve the lakes. It focuses on wildlife habitat, toxic cleanup, farm and city runoff and invasive species. The bill also requires the EPA to appoint a coordinator to address harmful algae blooms in the lakes. The bill was sponsored by Ohio Republican David Joyce and had the support of most of Ohio’s congressional delegation, including Reps. Marcy Kaptur, Marcia Fudge, Jim Renacci and Tim Ryan. Over the last seven years, the U.S. Congress has OK’d more than $2.2 billion through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

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