Although elected officials in Niles and Weathersfield Township banned injection wells, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources ignored our local elected official and on July 17, 2013, permitted an injection well anyway.
This facility - located just a mile from downtown - will inject millions of gallons of toxic frack fluid 9,100 feet below Niles. Much of this waste originates in Pennsylvania.
It seems that Youngstown's 11 earthquakes - including a 4.0 quake that caused damage to many homes, downtown buildings and underground infrastructure on New Year's Eve 2011 - weren't enough. Insurance covered most damages, but now many insurance companies refuse to cover man made seismic activity.
Meanwhile, injection-well related earthquakes are occurring in Texas and Oklahoma - including a 5.7.
What damage would a quake this size do to our beautiful downtown? What would happen to the bank buildings, the shops, the McKinley Memorial and St. Stephens's church? Quite possibly: rubble.
Then who pays? The well owner, American Water Management Service, is a limited liability company. Taxpayers may be left holding the bag.
Meanwhile, ODNR also permitted an open waste pit along with the injection well. The toxic brew they will dump into this open pit contains BTEX, (benzene, ethyl benzene, toluene and xylene), which are known carcinogens which easily become airborne.
Not only do many residents of Niles and Weathersfield Township live directly downwind, there is also a brand new middle school in less than a half mile, and a brand new high school within three-quarters of a mile. Exposure to BETX is most harmful to the elderly, children, and those who already have health problems. The Nicholson Center for adults with developmental disabilities is right next door.
This injection well is dangerous and it should not be in our community. Period.