Hydraulic Fracturing / Right-to-Know

Are fracking chemicals from Monroe County fire and spill headed toward the Ohio River?

Aftermath of the Esienbarth well fire in Monroe County. Credit: Monroe County EMA

Aftermath of the Esienbarth well fire in Monroe County. Credit: Monroe County EMA

CINCINNATI —Saturday’s fire at a Monroe County frack well site underscores the need for better oil and gas emergency planning and fracking chemical disclosure. Volunteer firefighters from 6 counties in Ohio and West Virginia doused the fire, which spread to 20 trucks, including 4 containing fracking chemicals, in a battle that lasted for several hours. The result is thousands of gallons of chemical-laced water migrating to nearby Possum Creek, a tributary to the Ohio River.

Early Monday, reports of a several mile long fish kill in Possum Creek were confirmed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which is investigating the incident, along with Ohio EPA. Neither agency could provide a list of chemicals being used at the plant, but commonly used fracking chemicals include those regulated by either the Clean Water Act or Safe Drinking Water Act or those which are known to cause cancer.

Ohio’s law still allows the oil and gas industry to keep fracking chemicals secret from state and local agencies and first responders and must be changed. Here’s what you can do:

  • Contact Ohio Governor John Kasich and Democratic challenger Ed Fitzgerald, pointing out this example of why we need to repeal Ohio’s oil and gas chemical reporting exemption.

Governor John Kasich

Call: (614) 466-3555

Contact Form: http://www.governor.ohio.gov/Contact/ContacttheGovernor.aspx

twitter: @JohnKasich


Candidate Ed Fitzgerald

Call: (216) 443-7178

Contact Form: http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/contact/

twitter: @FitzGeraldForOH


Also, if you live in an Ohio River county, you may want to contact your local Emergency Management Agency to inquire about preparations to protect your drinking water from this and any future chemical spills.

— Melissa English, Development Director, Ohio Citizen Action