Blue background with partial photo of small child holding a glass of water and words Safe water for our kids, Columbus no place for Frack Waste

Drink Water? Breathe air? Depend on safe soil? Then this urgent message is for you.

Central Ohioans have less than a month to protect our water, air and soil from the fracking waste passing through our watershed. According to industry spokespersons, this “brine” poses little danger to those of us living downstream.

Citing state-of-the-art technology of its injection wells, they boast of their ability to direct millions of gallons of the toxic and radioactive waste safely through our watershed to a final resting place miles underground. Common sense argues that over time injections wells leak and liquids migrate. It also recognizes that the massive volume of Ohio’s fracking waste cannot be safely disposed of anywhere, and certainly not in our watershed, our city’s most precious resource upon which we depend for our very survival.

Apparently aware that common sense would win over fracking industry assurances, the state seized Columbus’s local control over the gas and oil industry in 2004 and ceded it to the state-run Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Since then, ODRN has permitted the explosion of fracking operations that precipitated the surge of hazardous fracking waste and need for injection wells to dispose it.

Over two hundred injection wells dot Ohio’s natural landscape, including thirteen in the watershed area in which Columbus and surrounding communities rely. “Jobs, jobs, jobs,” say fracking proponents while ignoring the unsustainability of the fossil fuel industry as both an employer and energy supplier.

Across Ohio, fracking generates far more permanent costs than it does temporary jobs and other supposed benefits. Consider, in the areas where it has taken hold, the upsurge in earthquakes and illnesses, the destruction of ecosystems and plummeting of property values, and other hidden cost of natural gas that, contrary to the messaging of slick commercials, is neither clean nor cheap.

Central Ohioans may breathe a sigh of frack-free relief that we have thus far escaped the extensive drilling and flammable water that is the new normal in other parts of Ohio, but we do so at our peril. Ultimately, the injection wells in our watershed – thirteen and counting – will fail, leaving in their wake irreparable and permanent harm to our water, air and soil.

It does not have to be this way, and it won’t be if Central Ohioans take advantage of the...

Columbus Community Bill of Rights, a citizens’ initiative designed to protect our environment from fracking. We must act fast, however. We have only until ComFest – less than a month – to make real change. Here is how you can help:

Be aware of the catastrophic and permanent devastation that toxic and radioactive waste poses to our natural environment when (not if) it leaks from its encasements into our watershed.

Recognize that local residents have inalienable rights that state laws may not supersede. Both the United States and Ohio constitutions guarantee our rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the protection of our property. None of these are possible when fracking waste poisons our basic natural resources.

Support the Columbus Community Bill of Rights ordinance. This proposal seeks a local bill of rights for our water, soil and air and prohibits fracking and related activities in our city. Secure its passage onto November’s ballot by joining other concerned locals’ efforts to reach the goal of 9,000 valid signatures the city requires. While only registered Columbus voters may sign the petition, all Ohio voters may help collect signatures. Materials, training and petitioning sites are available at Also check out our new 30-second video on the home page.

With less than a month left in our five-year Community Bill of Rights grassroots campaign, demonstrate your commitment to our environment, our city, and, most importantly, our children by supporting the Community Bill of Rights.

Sandy Bolzenius
Columbus Community Bill of Rights (CCBOR)

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