May 2019 Notes from the Field: Barnesville, OH

By Jill Antares Hunkler

On April 22, 2019, Earth Day, the Barnesville, Ohio Thriving Earth Exchange team spent the day in the field in SE Ohio and were joined by Ted Auch of FracTracker Alliance. Water samples were taken at Cat’s Run, upstream and downstream of the Schnegg well pad, where last year’s blowout occurred, and Captina Creek (both at the confluence with Cat’s Run and further upstream).  We were fortunate to site a bald eagle resting near its nest on the banks of Captina Creek. We were also thrilled to find abundant salamanders in Cat’s Run upstream of the Schnegg site.

We then traveled to Dillies Bottom and did reconnaissance of the proposed PTT Global Petrochemical Processing (ethane cracker) plant site.  We were dismayed to find workers on site with evidence of tree cutting and land clearance despite the fact the no final investment decision has been made.

Next, we went to the Austin Masters fracking waste processing facility in Martins Ferry, Ohio.  It is a facility that treats radioactive waste from the fracking operations and located less than a ½ mile from the Martins Ferry High school football field.

We spent the remainder of the day documenting subsidence and erosion at numerous pipelines as well as new fracking infrastructure. The latter included seeing a well pad being built next a daycare facility in the St. Clairsville area.

In the last few weeks, the Barnesville Thriving Earth Exchange Project has been interviewed by journalists from Rolling Stone Magazine and Yahoo News. We also continued our educational outreach to the local communities in Ohio and Southwestern Pennsylvania with a visit to Beaver PA where another ethane cracker plant is currently under construction.

Sarah Wilkins editor

Leave a Reply

  Subscribe  
Notify of