Polk trustees urge fracking moratorium
By Patty Rice Groth
At a special meeting held Tuesday, December 4, the Polk Township board of trustees adopted a resolution which asks Ohio governor John Kasich and local state representatives to the Ohio Assembly to declare a moratorium or enact a ban on deep injection waste wells in this state.
The resolution calls for the moratorium until environmental studies have been completed and rules and regulations are in place to protect Ohio’s water supply.
The resolution further calls on the United States Congress to enact laws to eliminate the exemption of deep injection waste wells from federal regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
During the meeting, trustees explained the motivation for taking this step on behalf of township residents. In recent months, the city of Mansfield, Ohio, enacted amendments to its charter prohibiting deep injection waste wells in that city.
Jefferson Township, immediately adjacent to Polk Township to the north, recently asked the Crawford County prosecutor’s office to draft language for adoption by the township trustees opposing well fracturing in that township.
At its November regular meeting, the Polk Township board of trustees voted to request a similar recommended document from the county prosecutor.
The resolution unanimously approved was received and a special meeting for the purpose of its adoption was scheduled.
The stipulations of the resolution cite the potential to pollute ground water aquifers and trigger earthquake activity, the unknown composition of the injection fluids, risk of fluid leaks due to broken or cracked vertical well casings, risk of storage and transport of injection fluids, and the risk of road damage by trucks moving mass quantities of such fluids into, out of or through the township.
Authority to regulate deep injection waste wells and production operations in Ohio is vested in the Ohio legislature, specifically the Division of Mineral Resources Management/Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management within the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Local governments have no regulatory control in this matter.