Letter: Forest, water supply at risk

Letter: Forest, water supply at risk.
The plan from the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service opens eastern reaches of the Wayne National Forest, abutting the Ohio River near Marietta and its watersheds, to industrialization.
Ohioans may recall that in May 2014, a well-head failure caused 100 barrels of drilling mud to spill into a tributary creek of the Ohio River near Beverly, Ohio, contaminating the creek with the drilling mud and crude oil.
The incident killed 70,000 fish along 5 miles of creek.
And in March 2016, a truck hauling drilling wastewater overturned in eastern Ohio, sending thousands of gallons of toxic water into a nearby creek and contaminating a drinking water reservoir in Barnesville in Belmont County.
Most recently, Energy Transfer Partners — the same Texas company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline — spilled an estimated 2 million gallons of drilling fluid from its Rover Pipeline in two separate incidents in Richland and Stark counties.
By opening national forest lands to fracking, the plan will enable wholesale industrialization of entire watersheds, including national forest land and adjacent property.
And for wildlife such as river otters, bobcats and the endangered Indiana bat, the habitat destruction and devastation caused by fracking will make their survival and recovery that much more difficult.
For that reason, a coalition of groups last week sued to block it.
Ohio’s only national forest deserves better than being bulldozed for oil industry profits.

Learn More