Target: James Zehringer, Director of Ohio’s Natural Resources Department
Goal: Commend Ohio for imposing stricter regulations on hydraulic fracking
Geologists in the state of Ohio have recently linked earthquakes in the Appalachian Mountains to hydraulic fracking. The discovery has led the state to issue stricter permitting regulations for oil and gas drilling. Fracking poses many risks to public safety and the environment. We should commend the Ohio Natural Resources Department for issuing new regulations on the dangerous process of fracking.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has long been known to pose many dangers to human health. According to one study, proximity to fracking increased the likelihood of low birth weight by more than half, from about 5.6 percent to more than 9 percent. This may be due to the contamination of the water table by the injection of fracking fluid into the earth. Although fracking companies refuse to disclose the exact contents of fracking fluid, samples from fracking sites indicate that the fluid contains: formaldehyde, acetic acids, citric acids, and boric acids, as well as hundreds of other contaminants.
An investigation last month by the state of Ohio linked five small tremors near Youngstown, located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, to the injection of sand in water into the earth’s crust that accompanies fracking. Previous studies have also linked the injection of wastewater from fracking into the earth’s surface to increased seismic activity. The risk of earthquakes associated with fracking is yet another reason that this activity should be avoided.
Acting sensibly, the state of Ohio responded to these studies by imposing stricter regulations on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. The new regulations stipulate that all new drilling sites in Ohio within 3 miles of a known fault or seismic activity of 2.0 magnitude or higher will be conditioned on the installation of sensitive seismic-monitoring equipment. The results will be analyzed by state regulators rather than drilling operators so that the state will not have to rely on oil and gas companies to provide the data voluntarily.
Taken together with the established risks to public health and safety, the risk of earthquakes associated with hydraulic fracturing make it a dangerous activity. Although fracking would be banned outright, the state of Ohio has taken a step in the right direction by imposing stricter regulations. We should commend the Ohio Natural Resources Department for issuing stricter regulations on fracking.
Dear James Zehringer, Director of Ohio’s Natural Resources Department:
I am pleased that you recently imposed increased regulations on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas due to the new studies that link this activity with earthquakes. Fracking is a dangerous activity that poses many risks to public health and safety. The risk of earthquakes is one more item on a long list of reasons why fracking should be banned outright. However, these new regulations are a step in the right direction.
The recent studies that link fracking with earthquakes are quite alarming. I would like to commend the state of Ohio for responding to this new scientific data by imposing stricter regulations on fracking.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mikenorton via Wikimedia Commons