Details about event

FrackStock, a celebration of science journalist Justin Nobel's new book
exposing health risks gas and oil workers are exposed to from working with
radioactive toxic waste will be held Sunday, June 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the
First Unitarian Universalist Church, 93 W. Weisheimer Road in Columbus.

The alcohol-free event features free food, folk, Celtic and blues music, and
presentations by Ohio organizations dedicated to preserving Ohio's
environment and phasing out fossil fuels.

To register for a free ticket, visit

"Woodstock came about because of the Viet Nam War and young people's desire
to express love and peace with music," said Carolyn Harding of Grassroot
Ohio, an event organizer. "FrackStock operates on the same premise-love,
Justin and music."

Nobel spent seven years traveling eastern and southeastern Ohio, West
Virginia, Pennsylvania and other states interviewing workers in the gas and
oil industry about their work conditions and health issues they eventually
faced. His book is Petroleum-238: Big Oil's Dangerous Secret and the
Grassroots Fight to Stop it (Karret Press, 2024)

Nobel will speak and answer audience questions. Book copies will be
available for purchase.

The book relies on stunning worker accounts revealing that at some fracking
waste treatment facilities, the industry relied on workers recently released
from prison and often addicted to drugs to do the horrifically dangerous
work of treating radioactive oilfield waste, yet granted these workers no
appropriate knowledge on the dangers they faced or protection against it,
said Nobel. Several workers cited in his book have passed away, including
two men who worked at a fracking waste treatment plant located in northern
West Virginia - one man died of stomach cancer, the other of an aggressive
form of brain cancer.

Nobel's 2020 Rolling Stone magazine story, "America's Radioactive Secret,"
won the National Association of Science Writers award and inspired the book.
His writing has led to lawsuits, public dialogue, and academic research, and
has been taught at Harvard's School of Public Health.

"Oilfield waste has been spilled, spread, injected, dumped, and freely
emitted across this nation since oil drilling began in the U.S. in 1859,"
said Nobel. "And contamination has been discharged - sometimes illegally,
often legally - into the same rivers America's towns and cities draw their
drinking water from.

"This book is a story about worker justice and environmental justice. It's
an astonishing scientific story. We live on a radioactive planet, and oil
and gas happens to bring up some of earth's most interesting and notorious
radioactive elements. Whether it's a multinational company out of Paris, or
the guy in rural Pennsylvania who stashed fracking waste beneath a
courthouse, readers will be surprised at how deep this rabbit hole goes, and
how close it may touch their homes, their health, and the natural places
they cherish."

Private lands in eastern and southeastern Ohio have been fracked for natural
gas since the early 2010s, despite vehement protests from Athens County
residents. In early 2023, Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law H.B. 507, which
amended one word in an existing law to require fracking under Ohio state
parks and public lands.

Since then, Ohio environmental organizations have banded together to stop
fracking and keep fossil fuels in the ground in order to keep climate
warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius. Every tenth of a degree in global warming
avoided will do a great deal to mitigate the worst effects our heating
planet will have on tree, plant, animal, and fish populations, said Harding.

A memorial tribute will be offered to Teresa "Tess" Mills, 69, of Grove
City, Ohio, who died Dec 2, 2023.

Mills turned from homemaker to activist in 1994 to lead her neighborhood's
push to successfully fight a Columbus trash-burning power plant. She was the
2003 recipient of Ohio Citizen Action's Metzenbaum Award for activism
synonymous with Ohio U.S. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum's career of "principled

She was director of Buckeye Environmental Network, an environmental and
social justice nonprofit that most recently stopped commercial logging in
Wayne National Forest and Mohican State Forest. It also prevented longwall
mining under Dysart Woods, one of Ohio's few old-growth remnant forests.

FrackStock sponsors are Buckeye Environmental Network, GrassrootOhio, First
UU Church of Columbus, Columbus Community Rights Coalition, Save Ohio Parks,
Third Act Ohio, and the Ohio Brine Task Force.

Music will be performed by: Jenny Morgan, Joanie Calum, Joe Ventresca,
Dogwood Road, Terry Hermsen, Kelly Vaughn, and Shaun Booker Band.

Contact Harding at with questions.