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SEC Asked To Investigate Greenhunter Resources

SEC Asked To Investigate Greenhunter Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  (Grand Rapids, OH) FreshWater Accountability Project (FWAP) has filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an investigation of GreenHunter Resources, Inc.’s statements to potential investors and current shareholders that the company currently is legally empowered to ship via barge on the Ohio River the chemical and radioactive wastes from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for oil and gas. The complaint was filed amid mounting concerns among Ohio River Basin citizen organizations that GreenHunter repeats the claims time and again, despite the fact that the U.S. Coast Guard has made no decision to allow fracking waste (called Shale Gas Extraction Waste Water, or SGEWW) to be barge-shipped. GreenHunter insists to the finance community that it may legally ship fracking waste to injection wells and waste handling facilities being built in Meigs County, Ohio and Ritchie County, West Virginia. GreenHunter Water LLC alleges USCG approval on their website by stating, “GreenHunter Water has spearheaded the movement to barge oilfield waste water. In addition to GreenHunter’s state-of-the-art trucking and pipeline disposal services, barging is considered one of the safest and most cost-effective modes of transport. The company has received U.S. Coast Guard approval to transport oilfield waste products by barge on the in-land waterways.” (http://www.greenhunterresources.com/operations/greenhunter-water/barging/). The Coast Guard has repeatedly stated that approval has not been given, and that there is no timetable for approval of GreenHunter’s 2013 request that SGEWW be added to the register of lawful cargoes on inland waterways. Additionally, in a January 26, 2015 news release to investors, GreenHunter Resources, Inc.’s COO, Kirk Trosclair, stated, “While the increase in demand for services is an important component of our success, the improvement of increasing efficiencies at GreenHunter Resources is equally important. The U.S. Coast Guard approval is a significant ‘win’ for both GreenHunter Resources and our valued clients.” (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150126006576/en/GreenHunter-Resources-Operational-Update-Conference-Call#.VX4wpvlViko) A follow-up statement was then made to investors during a January 27, 2015 phone conference in which Gary Evans, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at GreenHunter Resources, Inc., stated, “It took us two years, but we finally got U.S. Coast Guard approval to barge brine down the Ohio River and on inland waterways.” The phone conference audio file is accessible...

Letter to the Editor: Guernsey County Commissioners Asked to Refuse “Brine” Spreading

Letter to the Editor: Guernsey County Commissioners Asked to Refuse “Brine” Spreading

On May 6 at 9:30 am the Guernsey County Commissioners will hold a public hearing to consider the Kimble Company’s proposal to spread “brine” on the roads of Guernsey County for “ice and dust control.” What most people do not know is not only that the Kimble Company of Dover engages in conventional drilling, but also in waste disposal for the unconventional shale drilling industry (fracking). This is important, because another fact is that, according to Ohio Law, only “brine” from conventional drilling is allowed to be spread on the roads. There is good reason for this. Study after study has shown that “brine” (also called produced and flowback water) created by fracking is toxic and even radioactive. A recent study done by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection documented high levels of toxicity and radioactivity in “brine” created by the fracking industry. Because it is illegal to spread such “brine” on Ohio roads, how would anyone know the difference? Any county that has fracking that allows the spreading of “brine” on its road risks a serious public health threat because of runoff if frack waste gets into streams running into reservoirs and leaches into aquifers needed for drinking water. How could anyone guarantee that “brine” being spread is only from conventional drilling sources? Residents report seeing “brine” trucks with their valves open, leaking as they go down the road. Already, we could be seeing  illegal spreading of frack waste on our roads, bio-accumulating into our water supplies, threatening public health. The question that needs to be asked is – why is there a sudden need for the spreading of “brine” from conventional drilling, that has steeply declined in production, and how could anyone guarantee that the toxic and radioactive “brine” from fracking would not be spread instead?   Click here for the letter sent to the Commissioners...

FWAP Warns of Future Costs to Ohioans for Fracking Contamination

FWAP Warns of Future Costs to Ohioans for Fracking Contamination

April 2, 2015 Chief Rick Simmers ODNR 2045 Morse Rd. Bldg. F2 Columbus, OH 43229-6693 Dear Chief Simmers: We would like to bring to your attention the recent report from Earthworks stating that Ohio has being largely deficient in the regulation of the hazardous waste that is generated by the oil and gas industry, primarily from the process of horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking). A link to this report can be found at: http://www.earthworksaction.org/library/detail/wasting_away_full_report#.VR3EQ_nF-Sq We quote from this report in the bulleted points below about issues directly pertaining to Ohio and the lack of adequate regulations to protect Ohioans from harmful public health and environmental effects, as well as the huge costs that will be incurred by the Ohio taxpayer for environmental clean-up once the industry has fracked and disposed of its waste: The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) do not track or report volumes, origins, or destinations of solid waste (e.g., drill cuttings, muds, and fracturing sand).   Draft regulations do not include standards or limits related to waste storage and treatment methods, volumes, or chemical parameters, nor specify any practices (e.g., reserve pit burial or brine evaporation) that would be prohibited.   Ohio doesn’t require operators to conduct chemical testing of drill cuttings disposed of at well sites or verify that they are “uncontaminated” according to the law. State agencies only recommend that landfills obtain documentation from operators about the content of waste.   No public information is available on the number, location, or use of pits and impoundments. Ohio doesn’t have specific requirements for the construction and use of pits and impoundments. Draft changes to related regulations only request that operators use “sound engineering design and construction, and commonly accepted industry practices.”   In 2014, ODNR issued authorizations for 23 waste facilities to process oil and gas field waste using “Chief’s Orders” that circumvent public notification requirements and local government review. Even though companies in Ohio are pursuing projects to repurpose drill cuttings and other waste, Ohio doesn’t have any regulations on the “beneficial use” of oil and gas field waste.   Operators are prohibited from disposing of Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM)...

Environmental Groups Align Efforts to Challenge FERC Pipeline Projects

Environmental Groups Align Efforts to Challenge FERC Pipeline Projects

Groups claim federal agency facilitates fracking for shale gas The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is not informing the public about the big picture when it comes to natural gas infrastructure projects related to increased gas drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations according to several environmental groups. The groups represent interests in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia and are concerned that the regional impacts to forests, watersheds, air quality, and wildlife are largely being ignored as FERC approves new gas pipelines and compressor stations across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The groups contend that FERC’s rush to increase natural gas infrastructure incentivizes fracking for shale gas while stifling the development of renewable energy. “Natural gas is not a bridge fuel but an anchor keeping us stuck in the past,” said Ryan Talbott, executive director of the Allegheny Defense Project in Pennsylvania. “If we want to achieve meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions we need to get beyond all fossil fuels, including natural gas. We will never get to a clean energy future as long as FERC keeps incentivizing more fracking for shale gas through these infrastructure expansions.” In Pennsylvania, which has already seen a dramatic increase in pipeline construction in recent years (see Attachment 1, p. 28), there are several large pipeline projects on the horizon, including the Atlantic Sunrise Project and the PennEast Pipeline Project, which combined would add nearly 300 hundred miles of large-diameter pipeline across Pennsylvania. In neighboring Ohio, there are concerns that what has already occurred in Pennsylvania is coming to the Buckeye State. There are several new large-diameter pipelines proposed in Ohio, including the Rover, NEXUS, and Leach Xpress pipelines. Combined, these projects would add over 1,000 miles of gas pipeline in Ohio and neighboring states. “Here in Ohio we have been shocked by the sheer immensity of these large pipeline projects intended to transport fracked gas to ‘markets,’ including export markets,” said Lea Harper, managing director of the FreshWater Accountability Project in Ohio. “We are glad to be part of the growing movement to hold FERC accountable for the long-term impacts caused by the unconventional shale gas drilling industry, contributing to the destruction of ecosystems,...

Frackers Obviously Don’t Care About the Community’s Quality and Quantity of Drinking Water Sources

Frackers Obviously Don’t Care About the Community’s Quality and Quantity of Drinking Water Sources

Reposted via ThinkProgress.org | by Samantha Page Image credit: Courtesy of Barnesville area residents A tiny town in eastern Ohio is being sued by an Oklahoma-based oil and gas company that bought more than 180 million gallons of water from the town last year. That water use, combined with a dry fall, prompted the village to temporarily shut off water to Gulfport Energy. Now, a second company has a water agreement, and there might not be enough water to go around. Gulfport Energy alleges in the lawsuit that the village of Barnesville, population 4,100, violated its agreement to provide water from its reservoir by entering into a contract with oil and gas company Antero Resources. Gulfport says the village’s contract with Antero allows for withdrawals beyond what Gulfport is allowed to take. Gulfport’s water supply can be shut off whenever water levels in the reservoir create a risk to the health and safety of the village residents and businesses. Last fall, the reservoir was down three feet below average when village officials stopped all outside withdrawals. “We felt like we had to shut everyone off to protect the regular users,” said village solicitor Marlin Harper. “We don’t have unlimited water.” But here’s the catch: Only Gulfport pumped water out of the reservoir last year. So even though, as Harper admits, the Antero contract has “a little bit of a priority” over the Gulfport contract, that’s not the reason Gulfport’s water supply was shut off. During the unusually dry fall, water withdrawals by Gulfport alone were too much for the reservoir to sustain. Environmentalists stress how valuable water is in the area, and particularly how valuable the reservoir at the heart of the lawsuit is. The water being sold to Gulfport comes from the Slope Creek Reservoir, which supplies water to all the town’s residents as well as another 8,000 people in neighboring areas, said John Morgan, a spokesman for Concerned Barnesville Area Residents. “It’s one of the best reservoirs in the area,” Morgan told ThinkProgress. “North of us, everything was strip mined years ago, so having a good water supply is valuable here.” When the reservoir got low last year, residents got alarmed, he...