Environmental news aggregator EcoWatch reports that more than 250 people gathered on the statehouse lawn in Columbus earlier today to demand a moratorium on fracking and the disposal in Ohio of the toxic waste water byproduct of fracking. The injection of that waste water into wells has been blamed for causing ten earthquakes in the Youngstown area in 2011, including a 4.0 magnitude quake on New Year’s Eve.
Among the speakers on the statehouse lawn was state representative Bob Hagan of Youngstown, who last week fired off a letter to Governor John Kasich asking for a fracking time-out until the consequences could be assessed. He echoed that request at the rally, saying,
The people of Ohio and the people of the Mahoning Valley need answers from our government officials. We need to know why over half of the toxic frack water we are blasting into Ohio lands is coming from Pennsylvania. We need to know why there is such a rush to dump this waste in Ohio. And we need to know why it took ten earthquakes in ten months for anyone in the Kasich administration to wake up and respond to calls for a moratorium on these wells. We never had an earthquake in Youngstown until John Kasich was elected governor.
Also speaking were state representatives Nickie Antonio and Mike Foley and state senator Mike Skindell, all from the Cleveland area, Columbus representative Tracy Heard, Columbus senator Charleta Tavares, Toledo representative Teresa Fedor, and Cincinnati representative Denise Driehaus. — Anastasia Pantsios