Take Action!

Tell Ohio Decision Makers to Stop Guzzling Gas!

Just because gas prices have dropped doesn’t mean Ohio should build more highways. Recently, 700 Sierra Club members commented on the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) 2014 Statewide Transit Needs Study. Now we have the opportunity to weigh in on the specific projects that ODOT will fund in 2015-2018.

Speak up for Bike, Bus, and Pedestrian funding!

2015 Ohio Sierra Club Retreat is just a few weeks away!

Mohican-winterWe hope you can join the Sierra Club for our annual Chapter Retreat. As one of the largest and most influential environmental organizations in the state, this is the time each year where we celebrate our victories, renew our spirits, and make our plans the year ahead. All are welcome, and meals will be provided for members who register.

Join us at Mohican State Park Lodge for the Annual Chapter Retreat on Jan 31st- Feb 1st!

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Stop Toxins from Algae in Drinking Water

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Click here to submit public comments to Ohio EPA by November 19.

1.) Insist algae toxin standards be created for Ohio drinking water supplies

2.) Request mandatory testing to occur at community water systems

 

 

Gas and Oil Fracking

The Ohio Chapter Gas and Oil Fracking Committee is comprised of a core team of Sierra Club members from across the state working in cooperation with partner organizations to protect Ohio’s air and water from the impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing Drilling “Fracking”. We empowers citizens to protect their communities locally while supporting a statewide moratorium until fracking’s impacts are studied and until we believe that safe and effective regulation will prevent unacceptable harm to wildlife, human health, water, air, and property values.

 

Gas and Oil Fracking - Latest News

A frack waste spill in Vienna Township, Ohio. Credit: Frack Free Mahoning

A frack waste spill in Vienna Township, Ohio. Credit: Frack Free Mahoning

The Sierra Club Ohio Chapter and several other environmental groups submitted a letter to the US EPA today which outlines multiple failures of oversight of fracking waste in Ohio. The groups are calling for the US EPA to intervene and to strip Ohio of it’s self-regulation.

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Columbus, Ohio - The Ohio House Energy and Natural Resources Committee rekindled a debate about allowing fracking to occur in Ohio’s State Parks, Forests, and Nature Preserves this week during considerations of House Bill 8 (Hagan). The bill established a fast-track provision, which would have forced approval of fracking in portions of parks, forests, and preserves. This bill sought to amend the process laid out in the previously passed House Bill 133 (2011), which opened up Ohio’s public lands to fracking and established a “public lands leasing commission” required to approve permits. The Governor has instituted a “de facto moratorium” on drilling in these areas by refusing to appoint members to this leasing commission. HB 8 would have circumvented the Governor’s decision not to drill in these areas by working around the commission and utilizing a process called “forced pooling.”

An amendment was carried forward in HB 8 earlier this week (attachment), which added protections to these sensitive areas. The Ohio Sierra Club worked with allies at the Ohio Environmental Council to help educate the committee members about how drilling would impact Ohio’s most sensitive public lands.

Click below to read our statement >

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Mohican-winterWe hope you were able to  join the 150 Sierra Club members who gathered for our annual Chapter Retreat at Mohican State Park. As one of the largest and most influential environmental organizations in the state,  we celebrated our victories, renewed our spirits, and made our plans for the year ahead.  Check out the Retreat Presentations and take the survey!!!

 

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Mohican-winterWe hope you can join the Sierra Club for our annual Chapter Retreat. As one of the largest and most influential environmental organizations in the state, this is the time each year where we celebrate our victories, renew our spirits, and make our plans the year ahead. All are welcome, and meals will be provided for members who register.

Join us at Mohican State Park Lodge for the Annual Chapter Retreat on Jan 31st- Feb 1st!

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UPDATE: one of these facilities has exploded, injuring three workers.

In 2013, the Ohio legislature quietly inserted a provision in the budget (HB 59) that modified state oil and gas laws in ORC 1509.22(B)(2)(a) to read as follows:

On and after January 1, 2014, no person shall store, recycle, treat, process, or dispose of in this state brine or other waste substances associated with the exploration, development, well stimulation, production operations, or plugging of oil and gas resources without an order or a permit issued under this section or section 1509.06 or 1509.21 of the Revised Code or rules adopted under any of those sections. For purposes of division (B)(2)(a) of this section, a permit or other form of authorization issued by another agency of the state or a political subdivision of the state shall not be considered a permit or order issued by the chief of the division of oil and gas resources management under this chapter.

This has allowed over 20 facilities to exist in Ohio that can handle dangerous (explosive, toxic chemicals and radionuclides present) without a permit, rather simply with an “order by the chief” of Ohio DNR. For an explanation of this issue, see Terry Lodge’s letter to Attorney General Mike DeWine raising concerns about worker safety and environmental contamination below. Also see the testimony where Patriot advocated for this “grandfathering clause” in ORC 1509. It should be noted that this is the very same non-regulatory strategy that lead to the tragic contamination of water in West Virginia earlier this year.

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