On Monday night, hundreds of residents living in Crooksville, Ohio were evacuated from their homes when a natural gas transmission line spewed methane into the air near their village. Residents within a half mile radius of the leak were ordered to leave their homes and take up shelter at Crooksville High School.
Every road trip needs a good theme song. A recent excursion for Earthworks’ Citizens Empowerment Project brought The Pretenders to mind:
I went back to Ohio, but my pretty countryside
Had been paved down the middle, by a government that had no pride
The farms of Ohio has been replaced by shopping malls
Said A, O, Oh way to go Ohio…
Despite concluding that oil and gas development waste contain hazardous constituents, EPA exempted it from consideration as hazardous under RCRA and left its regulation to “adequate” state oversight. This report comprehensively examines that oversight, identifies causes of inadequacy, and makes recommendations for improvement.
I once worked at an office with a big sign in the employee kitchen: “Your parents don’t work here. Clean up after yourself.” Some years later when I began to visit gas drilling areas, those words often came to mind. Today, Earthworks released a report detailing the many ways that gas and oil operators—and the regulators charged with overseeing them—appear unwilling to heed this basic request.