Fracking Athens (College Project)

From August 2014 to December 2014 I worked on a months long project to identify all the different dynamics of the fracking industry in Southeast, Ohio. I talked to hundreds of community members in and around Athens County from lawyers to activists to homeowners to students about their concerns, fears, and human rights. Through my exploration of the many complexities of this environmental issue, I hope to have raised some awareness about hydraulic fracturing in Ohio. 

How Issue 7 is Returning Rights to the People

I have reached out to the community about my project and found a wealth of knowledge. Athens is an extremely educated town, they know their rights, they know what is happening to them and they are taking action to try and stop it. Issue 7, to be voted for or against on November 4, is an issue that will protect the residents of Athens' rights against fracking within city limits.

If passed, Issue 7 will prohibit:

  • Corporations from extracting shale gas and oil.  
  • The storage of any waste from oil and gas extraction. 
  • Site infrastructure supporting extraction.
  • The procurement of water for use of extraction.  
  • Corporations from intending to take part in any of these activities; they could not avail themselves of certain legal rights and powers which would enable them to nullify the rights secured by this ordinance. 
  • Permits issued to allow corporations to engage in prohibited activities. 

So far, 160 communities across the US, including Mansfield, Oberlin, Broadview Heights and Yellow Springs Ohio, have passed a Bill of Rights similar to this one to protect the environment from industrial pollution. 

Issue 7 would only protect land within city limits, including state-owned properties and Ohio University properties. It would not stop corportations from extracting from existing wells, it will specifically ban new oil and gas wells and drilling with city water, undisclosed chemicals, as well as ban the disposal of fracking waste in Class II Injection wells inside the city.