Anti-Fracking Protesters Disrupt Washington Co. Waste Storage Facility

By
Bethany Venable

Dateline
Updated Tue, Feb 19, 2013 8:31 pm

A group of anti-fracking activists is claiming responsibility for disrupting operations at a Washington County waste storage facility.

According to a press release from the group Appalachia Resist, more than 100 people gathered at the Greenhunter Water facility in New Matamoras Tuesday morning.

The group reports Nate Ebert, a 33-year-old Athens County man, scaled a 30-foot pole on a brine truck to prevent other trucks from entering the site.

But parent-company Greenhunter Energy President Jonathan Hoops says the activists stormed the facility and constructed their own pole with guy wires, or ropes.

Hoops says some of the activists also entered storage trucks and stole the keys.

The incident disrupted activity at the plant for about three hours.

Washington County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Mark Warden says officers responded to the scene around 10:45 a.m. and talked Ebert off the pole around 2:40 p.m.

Members from Appalachia Resist claim they were protesting the company's plans to increase capacity for waste from hydraulic fracturing to be dumped in Ohio.

Hoops says his company is currently applying to the United States Coast Guard for classification of the waste, or brine, so the company can transport the residual waste via barge, rather than the current method of truck.

He says the company has no plans to dump the waste into waterways.

The New Matamoras location is a bulk storage facility for the waste by-product of both conventional oil and gas drilling and horizontal fracturing.

Warden says 10 people were arrested as a result of the protest, with charges ranging from misdemeanor counts of trespassing to felony counts of breaking and entering.

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