Category Archives: Conservation News

Fracking by the Numbers (Park+Vine, July 28th @ 11:00)

Would you Drink this water?

Have you heard about Fracking?  Perhaps on the radio, in the paper, or from a friend.  Fracking is a new type of natural gas drilling that has exploded in growth across the country, and is now here in Ohio.  Fracking promises economic relief in depressed eastern Ohio counties, but new studies have linked fracking to water and air contamination.  At the center of the controversy are the hundreds of different chemicals and millions of gallons of water used to frack each well.  If you would like to learn more join us for an information session Fracking by the Numbers, July 28th @ 11:00 @ Park + Vine (1202 main st.)Continue reading Fracking by the Numbers (Park+Vine, July 28th @ 11:00)

Dump the Pump with Sierra Club and Metro June 18

Time: 5-7pm (or until free passes are gone)
Where: Anderson Towne Center Kroger (Beechmont and Five-Mile)
Date: Monday, June 18th
What: The Sierra Club Miami Group and Metro have joined forces to promote “Dump-the-Pump” day. Drivers are asked to keep their cars parked on Thursday, June 21st and use alternate transportation to get to work or other activities. To make it easier on drivers, Metro is donating 50 free passes to ride buses. Passes will be distributed at the Anderson Township Center Kroger from 5-7pm on a first-come, first-served basis. Help clear the air and give transit a try!

Free Screening of Gasland @ Esquire Theater Thursday May 24th, 7:30-10:00

Would You Drink This Water?

Have you heard about a new type of natural gas drilling called fracking?

The Oscar nominated documentary GASLAND follows director Josh Fox on a cross country odyssey to explore the hidden world of fracking across America.  Join the Sierra Club and Representative Denise Driehaus for a free screen and discussion of this critically acclaimed movie (Thursday May 24th from 7:30-10:00)

RSVP for the Free Screening and Discussion at the Esquire.

Continue reading Free Screening of Gasland @ Esquire Theater Thursday May 24th, 7:30-10:00

Cincinnati Livable Communities Committee votes to support pump station improvements

Cincinnati’s Livable Communities Community voted 5-0-2 (5 in favor, 2 absent) to support upgrading the Glenview Pump Station instead of installing a much more expensive gravity sewer through critical cold water habitat.  The glenview pump station comes before the full Cincinnati City Council on Wed May 16,2012.


Council members voting in favor include Roxanne Qualls, Cecil Thomas, Laure Quinlivan, Chris Seelbach, and Wendell Young.

Sewer Again a Threat to Beautiful Stream Valley

A few years ago, a proposed shopping mall in Green Township (Legacy Place) was defeated by citizens.  They convinced Ohio EPA to deny the developer a water quality permit to destroy almost a mile of headwater streams on the site.  Thanks, Clean Water Act!  This project would have devastated the cold water habitat stream that flows to the Great Miami River.  Cold water habitat is rare in Hamilton County, and headwater streams are essential to aquatic life.

The stream system—known as Wesselman Creek—is again under threat.  “Glenview,” an MSD pump station located near the failed development site, is slated for a relatively inexpensive Consent Decree “upgrade” because, on occasion, it overflows to the stream.  The pump station is nearing the end of its expected life, and also needs a backup power supply—issues which need to be addressed.  Interestingly enough, stormwater removal may already have eliminated much of the overflow problem.  The Consent Decree lists the cost: $760,302.

However, MSD changed its “upgrade” plans and now proposes to build a gravity sewer—1.5 miles in length—along the stream to “eliminate” the pump station.  New cost to MSD’s ratepayers: $3,293,000. MSD does not consider any impacts to nature—including the diverse life in the stream—from bulldozing a wide swath through the mature forest, and excavating in the stream’s riparian corridor.  Hamilton County’s remaining natural areas are priceless and should be protected, not destroyed.

Why the change in plans?  MSD prefers gravity sewers to pump stations.  Green Township wants a sewer to promote growth in this sparcely-populated area. MSD is eyeing the possibility that many more miles of lateral sewers could eventually be connected. Note: only two home sewage treatment systems (HSTS) would be picked up by the proposed sewer. Whether this is the most cost-effective way to provide any needed HSTS elimination has not been addressed.

Seven property owners are on record opposing the sewer for numerous reasons, including its negative impact on the stream.  Three owners are eager for the sewer. They have publicly stated their desire to sell their land for development.  (One of them called it his “retirement,” because the sewer would make his property more valuable to developers.)

So, MSD ratepayers are left paying for a more expensive gravity sewer that would threaten a rare and important stream habitat.  In June 2011, all three Hamilton County Commissioners approved moving forward with design work.  Cincinnati City Council took up the issue in March 2012.  Council has the ability to require that the less expensive—and less environmentally damaging—pump station “upgrade” be done, because it is in the Consent Decree.  Important: City Council must agree to any changes made to the Consent Decree.

Roxanne Qualls’ Livable Communities Committee will be considering a motion on this subject Tuesday  May  8, 2012 at 1 pm.

Cincinnati to become first major U.S. city to offer 100% green electric as well as save money for residential customers

Contact: Rachael Belz, Ohio Citizen Action Cell: 513.602.4115 Work: 513.221.2100

APRIL 26, 2012 Cincinnati to become first major U.S. city to offer 100% green electric as well as save money for residential customers

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney announced today he has selected FirstEnergy Solutions with a 100% renewable energy contract as the provider for the new electric aggregation program in Cincinnati. Cincinnati is the first major U.S. city to offer 100% renewable energy power to electric customers. Voters passed an issue last November allowing the city to create a system that allows the city to buy electricity in bulk, which would offer to opportunity to reduce costs for customers as well as influence the source of the electricity. “This is a very exciting announcement. We are so glad the city and administration listened to customers at the public hearings held in February. The message was loud and clear: customers want 100% renewable electricity for Cincinnati. The fact that customers will also save money should make everyone happy,” Rachael Belz, Ohio Citizen Action organizer said. According to the City Manager’s office, the average eligible household will save approximately $133 per year on their electricity bills. City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. selected First Energy from seven proposals submitted in response to a Request for Proposals. “I went into the decision-making process with no pre-determined outcomes in mind,” said Dohoney. “This process provided the opportunity to promote renewable energy, and places Cincinnati as a national leader, at the forefront of green energy in this country. That is where we want Cincinnati to be.” FirstEnergy Solutions offers that a portion of its green product will come from local sources, namely Renewable Energy Credits produced by the renewable fuel used to power, in part, the University of Cincinnati’s generating facility and solar credits generated from the Cincinnati Zoo Solar canopy project. The program is an “opt-out” program, meaning customers are in the community buying group and will be eligible to save money with the new program unless they tell the city they do not want to be included. All customers will still receive their electric bill from Duke Energy, and in case of power outages or problems, would still call Duke Energy as they do now. Ohio Citizen Action has a long history of working on community aggregation in Ohio. The organization worked hard to successfully include the program in the 1999 Ohio deregulation bill. Belz testified before city council committee encouraging the members to allow voters the chance to vote on the issue just like dozens of other communities in the region had done. The organization, along with Greenpeace, worked tirelessly to explain the issue and inform voters about the November 2011 vote, as well as turning out dozens of participants in the two public hearings held in February. Ohio Citizen Action is the state’s largest consumer and environmental organization with 80,000 members statewide.

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Many thanks to everyone who worked to make this happen!!

City of Cincinnati says just say no to frack

For Immediate Release: April 16, 2012

Contact: Matt Trokan 443-889-7222

City of Cincinnati says just say no to frack.


Cincinnati, OH– The City of Cincinnati is set to become the first major city in Ohio to pass a resolution calling for the state to “move swiftly to place a moratorium on horizontal hydraulic fracturing and brine injection wells until further study and risk assessment is completed.”  The Resolution maintains that Cincinnatians do not want to sacrifice their public and environmental health for the sake of fracking.  A coalition of public interest and environmental groups, the Southwest No Frack Forum, fostered the resolution, and has worked to educate the public, elected officials, and local leaders on the risks of fracking to South West Ohio.
Horizontal Hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking) is a method of natural gas drilling that injects a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into dense rock formations to stimulate natural gas production.  Among numerous environmental concerns of this new technology, fracking has been linked to more than a 1,000 cases of water contamination in Colorado, New Mexico, Alabama, Ohio, And Pennsylvania.

“Fracking threatens the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the food we eat.  With natural gas prices at a historic low there is no need to rush into fracking without more thought and study. ” said Matt Trokan, Conservation Manager of the Ohio Chapter Sierra Club,.  However in Ohio, State officials are embracing fracking even though inadequate study, regulation, and safe guards exists.

“Governor Kasich has put forth an energy plan that would be more a gift to the industry than a protective measure for Ohio’s people and water resources. Instead, Ohio should be issuing a moratorium as a good first step toward banning fracking,” said Alison Auciello, Ohio Organizer for the advocacy group Food & Water Watch.  The Ohio Department of Natural Resources projected permitting over 3,000 well by 2015 and tens of thousands of wells over the next decade.

Mary Clare Reitz, Coordinator for Ohio Alliance for People and the Environment said “local communities need State legislators to slow the rush to frack by passing a statewide moratorium. We need to allow adequate time for peer-reviewed, scientific study that objectively concludes beyond reasonable doubt that human and environmental health will not be adversely affected.”

Other communities in Ohio that have passed similar resolutions include Amesville, Burton, Canal Fulton, Canton, Columbiana, Garrettsville, Girard, Munroe Falls, North Canton, Plain Township, South Russell, Yellow Springs, and Youngstown.

Food & Water Watch, Alison Auciello, (513) 394-6257, [email protected]
Sierra Club, Matt Trokan, (443) 889-7222, [email protected]

Tech Talk – Energy: Where we are, where we’re going – by Brian Bear

Location: Scouting Achievement Center, 10078 Reading Rd,  in Evendale

Monday March 5, 2012   7:00 pm to 8:55 pm

Tech Talk – Energy: Where we are, where we’re going – by Brian Bear

– where energy comes from; you have to spend some energy to get energy: energy returned for energy invested (ERoEI) and other terminology

– where our energy currently comes from (mix of oil, coal, gas, hydro and growing solar/wind contribution) Continue reading Tech Talk – Energy: Where we are, where we’re going – by Brian Bear