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Action Alert –

Urge your state senator to stand up for solar by opposing HB 114

Solar advocates testify in favor of maintaining a strong renewable portfolio standard.

Last year, Ohioans rejected a proposal to extend the freeze of Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard in House Bill 554. At our urging, the governor rejected efforts to hurt Ohio’s solar producers. It was also understood that clean energy policy is also required to advance Ohio’s economy. Not only is solar one of the fastest growing jobs sectors, but employers are looking for stable clean energy policy when investing in a state.

A new attempt is underway to make Ohio’s RPS voluntary. The Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 114 last spring, and it is now under consideration in an Ohio Senate committee. Solar producers and all Ohioans who care about jobs and clean energy must again speak against this attempt. Ohio remains the only state to have gone backwards on its RPS standard. Let’s not let it happen again. Please, urge your Senator to oppose attempts to reduce the RPS standard through this legislation.

Find your State Senator in the “Who to Contact” tab above.

Example message:

I am writing to urge you to oppose HB 114, and its attempt to weaken Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Weakening our RPS would be a mistake. This bill would inhibit Ohioans’ ability to choose where our electricity comes from and cause our state to fall behind in renewable energy job creation.

Neighboring states are encouraging economic growth by increasing the amount of renewable energy that powers their states. Now is not the time for Ohio to go backwards. Employers looking to locate in the state are demanding stable clean energy policies. Thousands of Ohioans have made significant investments in solar on their homes and businesses. Changes in the RPS are having a direct impact on the financial return of their investment.

Please, reject attempts like HB 114 that will reduce Ohio’s competitiveness and hurt those who have and plan to invest in solar on their property.

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Protect OH!

State bills want to smear fracking waste fluids all over Ohio’s roads for deicer. Act now to stop it.

Ohio lawmakers are working on yet another scheme to benefit the oil and gas industry at our expense with Ohio House Bill 393 and Senate Bill 165. It would allow oil and gas waste, including fracking fluids, to be sold as a “commodity.” This means hazardous waste  could be sold in stores and spread on our roads as a deicer by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Oil and gas waste is dangerous. Spreading it on roads and highways exposes Ohio communities and waterways to carcinogens and other dangerous chemicals.

Action LINK: https://sierra.secure.force.com/actions/National?actionId=AR0103389

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Update on 29 January 2018

Sub HB 393: Different but still bad! Please keep up calls and letters

Sub. HB 393 no longer allows horizontally drilled waste but IS STILL DANGEROUS and must be opposed. Please share this news and new language for making calls and writing letters. Thank you! There’s a new version of the fb post. Please re-send to your circle. Thank you!

Sub HB 393: Call on Rep. Edwards to withdraw his support of this dangerous bill!

A very dangerous piece of legislation is being considered by the Ohio House. Rep. Jay Edwards supports Sub HB 393, which would allow oil and gas waste to be “processed” for sale in stores for deicing Ohio roads, sidewalks, and even your own front steps. Athens City Council has already passed a resolution opposing the Senate version (SB 165). I urge all Mr. Edwards’ constituents to educate him on the disastrous implications for this dangerous bill.

Oil and gas waste can hundreds of toxic ingredients, many undisclosed (thanks to trade secrets and weak Ohio and federal regulation). Most are not subject to government regulation or health standards, although most have known health impacts. In one study by Endocrine Disruption Exchange of 980 products used in oil and gas extraction, 90% had at least one known health effect. Nearly half the products contained at least one chemical considered an endocrine disruptor (chemicals that interfere with the endocrine system, including development and reproduction, and which can have severe lifelong effects on sensitive populations, like babies and children, even at extremely low doses).

Oil and gas waste is more toxic even than the chemicals used to drill and stimulate wells, as authors of the report cited above documented:  Health effects of forty chemicals and heavy metals studied from New Mexico oil and gas waste evaporation pits “produced a health profile even more hazardous than the pattern produced by the drilling and fracking chemicals.” In fact, “98% of the 40 chemicals found in the pits are listed on USEPA’s 2005 CERCLA (Superfund) list and 73% are on the 2006 EPCRA List of Lists of reportable toxic chemicals. Of the nine chemicals found to exceed the New Mexico state limits, all are on the CERCLA list and all but one are on the EPCRA List of Lists.                                

There are no provisions in the bill to fully assess the composition or even do limited testing on an ongoing basis, even though oil and gas waste chemicals and toxicity vary from well to well and over time. The bill even sets out restrictions on government regulation of the very activities it would enable, restricting regulation to only very limited testing and infrequent monitoring of limited parameters. Safety would therefore be legally impossible to even strive for, let alone ensure. There is not even a requirement that testing be by an Ohio-EPA certified lab. With its provision that “[t]he chief shall not adopt rules or establish or impose additional requirements applicable to commodities governed by division (C)(9)(a) of this section,” the law makes it legally impossible to set higher standards.

Oil and gas waste is often highly radioactive and contains heavy metals. The bill does not provide any standards for monitoring of these hazards, let alone their removal. Processing waste to completely remove this contamination would obviously be technically very difficult (if even possible) and would certainly not be cheap. But since the bill doesn’t require such a standard, it’s obviously not expected to be met! Even evaluating the presence of these contaminants is very expensive. Who would pay for that? Oh, right, never mind, it’s not required and under this bill can NEVER be required!

Even processed conventional oil and gas waste can contain heavy metal and radiologicals. A recent Duke University study found radioactive materials at the bottom of three PA waterways from treated conventional oil and gas wastes. According to Duke University professor and a study author, Dr. Avner Vengosh, “Despite the fact that conventional oil and gas wastewater is treated to reduce its radium content, we still found high levels of radioactive build-up in the stream sediments we sampled.” A report on the study in Phys.org also explained, “The level of radiation found in stream sediments at the disposal sites was about 650 times higher than radiation in upstream sediments. In some cases, it even exceeded the radioactivity level that requires disposal only at federally designated radioactive waste disposal sites.” According to the US EPA, “Radium and radon are potent human carcinogens. Uranium may cause lung cancer and tumors of the lymphatic and hematopoietic tissues.” Uranium is higher in Utica than in Marcellus shale. Its dangers have been less studied.

When spread on the ground for deicing or dust control, radioactive dust can become airborne and be inhaled or deposited on crops or pastures, so that humans also ingest it from contaminated produce or animal products. Radium-226 has a half-life of 1,600 years. See also Dr. Julie Weatherington-Rice’s letter to the Energy and Nat. Res. Committee on SB 165 on the extreme dangers of spreading conventional oil and gas waste. Please urge Mr. Edwards to reconsider his support for this dangerous bill, with its fatal implications for Ohioans’ health and wellbeing, ph: (614) 466-2158; rep94@ohiohouse.gov

Thank you. This piece with live links is also posted at acfan.org and a post to share is on acfan’s fb page.

Athens County Fracking Action Network

acfan.org and on fb

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On 23 January 2018

Ohio House to OK Use of Fracking Waste as Road Deicer

Imagine if your child or family pet were accidentally poisoned by just playing in the snow.  Imagine if there were no way to determine what the poisoning chemical could be. If the Ohio House has its way this could be a reality when they approve House Bill 393 which would give “beneficial” use status to fracking waste to be used on Ohio’s roadways.

We know from other states’ experiences that this is a terrible and dangerous idea. A recent study by Duke University found that in Pennsylvania, “disposal of treated conventional (oil and gas waste) is the source of high (radium concentrations) in stream sediments,” causing radioactivity levels to spike in PA streams.[1] Research conducted in California suggests that there are so many chemicals that can interact with each other designing treatment for reuse of fracking fluid is not a one-size-fits-all operation. [2]

But the Ohio House is willing to overlook all of this and allow fossil fuel companies to sell fracking waste to be spread on roadways and call it a “beneficial” use.

As you may know, as many as 1,000 chemicals can be used during the fracking process and companies don’t have to tell the public what they are because they are considered “trade secrets.” Since we don’t have a list of these chemicals, there is no way to be sure harmful chemicals have been removed.

HB 393 is receiving opposition testimony in the Ohio House tomorrow. This is why I am asking you to call your Ohio House Member today and tell them not to expose our families to fracking waste!

Athens County News Covers this issue here.

This a section of the Revised Code  1509.22  is to be changed:

To amend section 1509.22 of the Revised Code to authorize a person to sell brine derived from an oil and gas operation that is processed as a commodity for use in surface application in deicing, dust suppression, and other applications.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That section 1509.22 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 1509.22. (A) Except when…

(C)

(9)(a) Brine processed to remove free oil, dissolved volatile organic compounds, metals, and other contaminants in accordance with an order or permit issued under division (C) of this section is a commodity, and the person that received the order or that holds the permit may sell such a commodity for purposes of surface application in deicing, dust control, use in portable restrooms, or other purposes as specifically approved by the chief.
Prior to the issuance of a permit or order regarding such a commodity, the person shall demonstrate to the chief that the intended use of the commodity is not expected to result in damage or injury to public health, safety, or the environment. A person may submit a copy of any of the following to the chief, and such submission is sufficient to constitute the demonstration required by division (C)(9)(a) of this section:
(i) Documentation that the department of transportation has approved the commodity for deicing or snow control;
(ii) Documentation that the commodity, with or without a corrosion inhibitor, is listed on the most recent pacific northwest snowfighters qualified products list;
(iii) Documentation from a private certification entity approved by the department of transportation.
(b) The chief may establish reporting and testing requirements as are reasonably necessary to confirm that the production and use of the commodity complies with the requirements of this section. The chief may, at reasonable times, collect samples of the commodity. However, the chief shall not collect more than four samples of a commodity annually from a person who sells brine as a commodity as authorized under division (C)(9)(a) of this section.
(c) The chief shall not adopt rules or establish or impose additional requirements applicable to commodities governed by division (C)(9)(a) of this section.

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Trump Re-Nominates Anti-Wildlife Climate Denier to Top Environment Post

 

 

 

 

The Trump administration re-nominated Kathleen Hartnett White on Monday to be chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) after she failed to secure a Senate confirmation last year.


The CEQ chair oversees environmental policy across all federal agencies. But during Senate hearings in November, White struggled to answer basic questions about the CEQ’s role and whether she would use facts in environmental recommendations to the president. She continues to deny that carbon dioxide is harmful to the planet.

“White is a disastrous candidate who will have a profoundly destructive effect on our climate and wildlife if given this job in the Trump administration,” said Stephanie Kurose, endangered species policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Her extreme views and disturbing record should disqualify her from this crucial leadership position.”

White has previously argued there is a “moral case” for expanding fossil fuel development regardless of carbon dioxide emissions. She also claimed there is a “connection between the abolition of slavery and humanity’s first widespread use of energy from fossil fuels.”

In her current position at the Texas Public Policy Foundation—a conservative think tank that has received huge donations from fossil fuel interests that include Koch Industries, ExxonMobil and Chevron—White has worked to undermine the Endangered Species Act.

Nearly 50 organizations sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works opposing White’s nomination. The letter expressed support for the Endangered Species Act, which has saved more than 99 percent of species under its protection from extinction and put hundreds of species on the path to recovery.

“White is yet another Trump appointee picked to lead an agency whose conservation mission she fundamentally rejects,” said Kurose. “Confirming her to this powerful position would be shortsighted and deeply irresponsible.”

The Trump administration also re-nominated Susan Combs to be assistant secretary of policy management and budget within the U.S. Department of the Interior. Combs—an outspoken opponent of federal endangered species protection—built her career by favoring big corporations and special interests over the needs and survival of imperiled species.

 LINK:  https://www.ecowatch.com/ceq-nominee-white-2524022932.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=2a120f5d18-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-2a120f5d18-86118937

 

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