PRESS/BLOG

Updated: 2 days ago



There have been three barge docks proposed to be built along the Ohio side of the Ohio River this year, and one is proposed for Marietta. The name of the company is DeepRock Disposal Solutions, LLC and the facility is proposed just two miles from Marietta College. Here is the location. If built, all three would be accepting oil and gas waste from unknown destinations, some of which are likely to be connected to horizontal well “fracking” operations. This would put a host of highly toxic and potentially radioactive substances only one spill away from contaminating the Ohio River- a drinking water source for five million people. Common contaminants in fracking waste that are toxic to human health: chemical additives, heavy metals and organic compounds – for example, barium is linked to gastrointestinal disturbances, muscle weakness, and paralysis; BTEX – benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene – for example, benzene is a carcinogen, and linked to blood disorders such as anemia, salts or total dissolved solids – corrodes infrastructure, harms aquatic life and vegetation; NORM – naturally occurring radioactive materials, such as radium-226 and radium-228 – carcinogenic, linked to blood disorders. So far, this is the only public meeting or hearing that has been granted in response to public requests and comments. Here is more information about the barge docks and hearing. The entity in charge of permitting these facilities is U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Please help us protect the Ohio River by signing up to give testimony at the virtual public hearing. (Registration directions below.)


Particular details of the hearing:

  • Relevant to the Deep Rock proposed barge facility near Marietta, OH.

  • Hearing will be held this Friday, August 7th from 5:00 - 6:30pm.

  • To register for this hearing and receive the meeting link and call-in information send an email to: CELRH.North@usace.army.mil with the subject line “RSVP for 7 August Public Meeting” and include your full name, email address, and contact phone number with area code.

  • To submit a question prior to the meeting send an email to: CELRH.North@usace.army.mil with the subject line “Question for 7 August Public Meeting” and include your full name and contact phone number with area code. Questions submitted by email prior to the virtual public meeting will be prioritized over those received during the meeting, according to info. posted by USACE.

  • You can attend the hearing and submit comments later after learning more. Comments and requests for additional information should be submitted electronically to CELRH.North@usace.army.mil by 4 p.m. August 17, 2020.

  • Then let us know you will be attending by filling out this form (click here).

  • Watch this video of an informal meeting that was held this week in preparation of the meeting. Attorneys explain details of the project and there was a discussion among community members about the facility and hearing.

  • Here are talking points that you can refer to when formulating your comments/questions for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Here is the petition to demand that regulators deny permits for the barging of oil and gas waste on the Ohio River. Help us get the word out about the hearing by sharing the Facebook event page or share this blog post outlining everything.


Here is a letter to the editor that was published when we first learned of the barge docks written by one of our members and local retired environmental scientist and chemist, Dr. Randi Pokladnik. She discusses potential harms of the projects.


Reach out to us with any questions.

Please join our mailing list if you want to stay up to date on issues facing the Ohio River Valley by visiting our website for updates, reports, and events.


Social Media: Facebook and Twitter Email: ConcernedOhioRiverResidents@yahoo.com Phone: (740) 738-3124 Address: Concerned Ohio River Residents P.O. Box 135 Bridgeport, OH 4392

This editorial was published in the Times Leader newspaper on July 26th, 2020.


Written by:

Jill Antares Hunkler, resident of Belmont County, the most heavily-fracked county in Ohio


Residents of Southeastern Ohio need to be aware of a recent announcement made by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on the hazards of the oil and gas industry. He reported that a two-year investigation by the Grand Jury uncovered the failure to protect Pennsylvanians from the inherent risks of the fracking industry. Testimonies were given to the Jury from residents living near oil and gas drilling sites. They shared their concerns over poor air quality leading to negative health impacts. Reports were given of water contamination which resulted in breathing problems when showering. Parents spoke about their children having nose bleeds and other ailments. Livestock had become sick, infertile and died, according to testimony given by farmers living near fracking operations. 

Pennsylvania has more stringent regulations of the oil and gas industry than Ohio. In fact, 1,500 fracking wells had been drilled in Ohio before a single regulation had even been written. Ohio is still lacking in the necessary oversight of the fracking industry, with critical legislation yet to be written. As an informed and concerned resident of Belmont County, I am pleading with fellow Ohioans to stand with me and demand that Ohio Attorney General David Yost and Governor Mike DeWine halt any further permitting for the oil and gas industry until a public health and environmental impact study is conducted in Ohio on the risks of fracking. 

Just as in Pennsylvania, the State of Ohio is already failing to protect communities from air and water pollution from fracking, and now the Ohio EPA has granted permits for, and is promoting cracking to make plastic, which will pose additional threats to our health due to air and water pollution. Ohio must put the health and safety of the people and our environment above corporate interests and profits.  I have personally experienced the devastating effects of fracking. Belmont County is the most heavily fracked county in the state, with over 675 wells permitted and 500 producing. Alarmingly, 78 of those wells are located within a five-mile radius of my home. There are four well sites, one within a mile and the remaining three within a mile and a half, that have been in significant violation since 2016. Investigations revealed that no enforcement action had been taken by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), or remediation of any kind been made by Gulfport, the fracking company in violation. There are a total of 16 Gulfport well pads in our area that have been in violation since 2016. My family and my neighbors have experienced negative health impacts from fracking wells and other infrastructure sites located nearby including, pipelines, compressor and transfer stations.  Take a look at St. James Parish in Louisiana, now called Cancer Alley, due to the high cancer rates of those living in communities surrounded by the petrochemical industry. We must ask the question, “Is this the kind of industry we want in our backyards?”. Let us also demand that an impact study be conducted on the risks associated with the petrochemical industry that is looming over the Ohio River Valley. Here in Appalachia we have lived through the boom and bust cycles of extractive industries.We deserve a better, healthier and more sustainable future than those being promoted by our state and local officials. Future generations are depending on us to create a better vision for the Ohio River Valley. Please contact Attorney General Yost at (800) 282-0515; 30 East Broad Street-13th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215. Contact Governor DeWine at: (614) 466-3555; 77 South High Street-30th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215. If you are interested in expanding your knowledge about the risks of the petrochemical and fracking industries, and to join us in envisioning a better future for the Ohio River Valley visit Concerned Ohio River Residents website at: www.nocrackerplantov.com or call 740-738-3124.

This editorial was written by Bev Reed, RN, BSN, CORR leader

Published in the Times Leader newspaper on July 26th, 2020.


July 19th’s Times Leader featured an opinion piece by Greg Kozera, marketing and sales director of Shale Crescent USA. Mr. Kozera’s letter contained many false assumptions that were very misleading to the public. His letter made it seem like the choices for the future of the Ohio Valley are all "one or the other." This letter will rectify these misleading statements and provide some real hope for the future of the Valley. I would also like to address the undrinkable water of Bridgeport, Ohio.


As a young person who grew up in this Valley and who is still trying to decide whether or not to stay long-term, and as a registered nurse with public health knowledge and experience, I look at the petrochemical plans laid out by our state and local leaders with a close eye. Mr. Kozera and I agree on something: the Ohio Valley needs good, quality, family-sustaining jobs. When I graduated high school 10 years ago, most of my classmates, including myself, could not wait to leave in search of something better. Since I moved back a few years ago, I realized that there were only a few of my old classmates still here. We can create a sustainable, reliable, exciting future for the region that will retain and attract young people, but only if everyone is listened to. I have talked to many young (and older) people who plan to move out if the petrochemical industry were to take root.


Mr. Kozera asks the question, “will anti-fossil fuel people walk the talk and stop using plastic and all products of fossil fuels? They can start by getting rid of their cell phones, computers, and cars.” This is a common response that Concerned Ohio River Residents receives, and it is simply used to distract people away from the global crisis of single-use plastic waste. We are not opposed to banning ALL types of plastic products. Cars, cell phones, and computers are not single-use items. National Geographic reports that plastic packaging makes up about 40% of all plastics produced today and the World Economic Forum reports that plastic pollution could outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050 if we continue our current path.


Jobs must be reliable and sustainable. Recent reports from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis state that many market conditions challenge this industry- not just COVID-19. And a letter written by a group of area economists and academics to the tri-state area governors called on them to invest in a reliable economic development model stating that, “We see additional economic and technological barriers, which are likely to outlast the current economic crisis and make the construction of more crackers in the Ohio Valley and southwestern Pennsylvania highly unlikely. Consequently, projects that depend on a build-out of four to five crackers, including development of large natural gas liquids storage facilities such as the proposed [Appalachian Storage Hub] and a major expansion of the downstream plastics manufacturing sector, are also unlikely to be realized as are the jobs they are expected to provide.” Nowhere in his proposal does Mr. Kozera mention what we really need- a diversified economic model- a model that spreads out our resources and potential, rather than relying on a single industry- fracking and petrochemicals to be the “magic bullet”.


One major jobs producer could be energy efficiency jobs. According to the 2020 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, energy efficiency is the least costly electricity resource. Think construction (skilled trades, laborers, architects), HVAC contractors/workers, lighting contractors/workers, home/building and remodeling/weatherization contractors/workers, insulation contractors, manufacturers of building materials, doors and windows, heating and cooling systems, etc. This sector alone provides more jobs in Ohio than the coal, natural gas, and transmission, distribution, and storage industries combined. Concurrently, E2’s recent Clean Jobs America report found nearly 3.3 million Americans working in clean energy – outnumbering fossil fuel workers by 3-to-1.


Mr. Kozera does not recognize that we are well into the transition zone, where the uses of fossil fuels will diminish by the day as the future unfolds. Effective battery reserve systems for household and light industry use are already on-line, such as the Tesla Powerwall and several others. New battery chemistries are already coming on-line, and many will come shortly, such as Solid Electrolyte batteries and others that do not require cobalt. The "million mile" car battery is going into production. The cost per kWh in solar and in battery systems is coming down by the day, while the costs of fossil fuel extraction will continually increase over time. Not far in the future, the uses of fossil fuels will be limited to those which are cost-effective and lack viable alternatives.

We have seen time and again PTTG, the company behind the proposed ethane cracker plant, failing to stick to commitments for a Final Investment Decision. And with the pulling out of Daelim Chemical, CORR’s arguments become solidified: petrochemicals are not a good investment for the Valley. Why would Daelim pull out if this were a good investment?


On a related note, it was reported last week in the local news that Bridgeport’s water is unsafe to drink because of potentially dangerous levels of PFAS, a man-made group of chemicals that has been known to cause cancers and birth defects. Everyone should watch the documentary “The Devil We Know” and the movie “Dark Waters”. Both tell the story of the DuPont plant that knowingly and willingly poisoned thousands of people for years with these same exact chemicals. The contamination of Bridgeport’s water goes to show just how susceptible the aquifers around here are and point to why it is so critical we do everything we can to protect our water. The Ohio River is a drinking water source to 5 million people. (Update: it was reported on 7/24/20 that Bridgeport's water is safe to drink.)


If you would like to learn about the truth behind the implications of the petrochemical build-out and to help others advocate for a better future for the Ohio Valley, call us at (740) 738-3124 or find us on Facebook. Our website is www.nocrackerplantOV.com. We would like to work together and amplify the ideas of those who live here to create the future that we want to see.

ABOUT US >

The organization who manages this page and who is leading the efforts pertaining to protecting the Ohio River Valley from a petrochemical build-out is called Concerned Ohio River Residents(CORR). Click HERE to view our Facebook page. We are Ohio Valley citizens concerned about the extremely detrimental toll that the PTT Global ethane cracker plant will take on our health, air, water and future if it is built, and we are organizing an effort to stop it from coming to the beautiful Ohio Valley. This website is dedicated to informing the public about the proposed project and the plethora of negative effects that it will bring if built, as well as being a resource that provides anyone the tools and connections needed to get involved. We are supported by our partners who are other grassroots organizations (some national, some more local).

A petrochemical and refining company named PTT Global Chemical has proposed to build an ethane chemical "cracker" plant in Dilles Bottom, OH- about 5 miles south of Shadyside, OH and directly West across the Ohio River from Moundsville, WV. This is a Thailand-based company. Cracker plants essentially take ethane produced from fracked gas and turn it into plastic pellets that will then be shipped to other companies that will use them to create plastic products. Other products are created at these types of facilities as well, however the majority of the process will be for plastic creation at this plant if it is built. Please see the 'What is a Cracker Plant?' tab to learn more about the physical process. The Plant IS NOT a done deal yet. Local opposition is important at this time. Please see the "Get Involved" tab to explore other ways your voice can be heard. The Ohio Valley deserves better than this toxic industry. We deserve something sustainable and something that won't pollute our air and water more than it already is and something that won't turn into a bust after a few decades. We are standing in solidarity together and advocating for a better future for our region and our planet.

Send an email to info@pttgcamerica.com and express your personal concerns pertaining to the cracker plant directly to the company or click here to be directed to the company contact page.

The following non-profit organizations are partnering with CORR to carry out the mission:

FreshWater Accountability Project (based in Ohio)

Buckeye Environmental Network (based in Ohio)

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (based in WV)

 

 

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T: 740-738-3124

E: ConcernedOhioRiverResidents@yahoo.com