On my recent drive home to Athens from Cleveland, I was sickened to see the change in landscape along Interstate 77. Fracking operations are immense, oppressive, noisy, dirty cities all to themselves. If the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service lease nearly 32,000 acres of the Wayne National Forest for fracking of the Utica shale, our communities will be overrun with these massive industrial complexes instead of the living, breathing forests we now have. The BLM may manage the Wayne, but it is the only national forest in Ohio, and we, the public, own it.

Fracking injection wells continue to be drilled throughout Athens and Meigs Counties, mostly to accept toxic and radioactive fracking waste from out of state. The proposed Portland Dock between Pomeroy and the Ravenswood, West Virginia Bridge will deliver 43 million gallons of fracking waste per barge load, mostly from Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The extraction company Green Hunter states in its press release that Meigs County has been identified as a sacrifice zone.

Is this what our lands and our water have become in southeastern Ohio? Are we simply a sacrifice zone for fracking waste and a place where corporate America’s shareholders continue to salivate over the money to be made by drilling our public lands? Enough is enough. If you want to take a stand, rather than throw up your hands and give up your rights to clean water and a safe environment, join us for a National Day of Action on Tuesday, Nov. 17 from noon to 2 p.m. in Torch (carpool at Athens Community Center. at 11:30 a.m.) or on the Pomeroy Bridge (carpool Athens Community Center at 2:30 p.m.) from 3 p.m. till dark to protest these obscene actions being perpetrated upon us by outside forces. Please help us fight for our rights to clean water and the rights of our forests to exist. Stop by for only half an hour, carry a sign, speak your mind.

Keep the oil in the ground in the Wayne and keep injection wastes out of Athens and Meigs.

Milena Miller

Member of Athens and Meigs Bill of Rights Committees

Athens

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