Tell the US EPA to require Ohio's drillers to comply with the Emergengy Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act!

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The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) was passed in 1986 as a result of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India, to protect communities from hazardous material. The goal of EPCRA is to provide adequate information on hazardous material to first-responders and the public, so as to better equip them to address safety and health issues at potentially dangerous sites, especially in the case of an accident. Unfortunately, parts of Ohio's Revised Code -- ORC 3750.081, 1509.10 (H), and 1509.10 (I) -- do not meet the EPCRA's requirements, allowing Ohio drillers to circumvent requirements designed to keep communities safe and provide transparency.

Tell the Ohio and U.S. EPA to review ORC 3750.081, 1509.10 (H), and 1509.10 (I), and to respond accordingly by requiring Ohio regulators and drillers to comply with EPCRA's requirements.   

Recipients

  • Ms. Cindy DeWulf
  • Administrator Susan Hedman
  • Director Scott Nally

Contact

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Message

I'm concerned that Ohio's drillers are violating EPCRA

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am concerned for the safety of my community as a result of statutory provisions in Ohio that conflict with the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), allowing oil and gas drillers in the state to avoid adequately disclosing the chemicals they use to first-responders and the public in general. This presents major concerns related to safety, especially as Ohio is witnessing a boom in drilling.

Ohio's statutory provisions in conflict with EPCRA are ORC 3750.081, 1509.10 (H), and 1509.10 (I). EPCRA requires that facilities provide information about the hazardous material present on site, which should mirror EPCRA's Tier I and Tier II data reporting forms, but this is not occurring. Presently, Ohio is only requiring drillers to submit annual production reports, which lack any meaningful information related to hazardous material and emergency response and safety, as well as material data safety sheets (MSDS). However, the MSDSs are not linked to specific sites and fail to provide sufficient safety information.

Furthermore, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is violating EPCRA by not providing the public ready access to information about the hazardous material contained on drilling sites. Additionally, Ohio's treatment of trade secrets is wholly inappropriate, putting undue burden on individuals to challenge the trade secret claims that companies assert.

Because of the urgent concerns around Ohio drillers' noncompliance with EPCRA, I ask the Ohio and US Environmental Protection Agency to:

1. Review the current state of Ohio's regulations vis--vis EPCRA requirements; I'm confident you will find Ohio and the drilling companies operating in the state out of compliance.

2. Make your findings public, and inform Ohio's legislature and relevant regulatory agencies that the statutes in question and agency rules associated with them must be altered to meeting EPCRA requirements.

3. After informing the drilling operators failing to comply with EPCRA of their noncompliance, initiate enforcement action against persistent violators.

4. Remove the ability of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to make trade secret determinations with regard to material inputs for the fracking process, and instead vest that responsibility with the U.S. EPA, as EPCRA outlines.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]