Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Portage County: 'the fracking waste disposal capital of Ohio'

Posted By on Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 4:06 PM

  • via

Cuyahoga County's rural neighbor to the southeast is getting some national attention for being the "biggest dumping ground for fracking waste in a state that is fast becoming the go-to destination for the byproduct of America's latest energy boom."

Mother Jones editorial fellow Thomas Stackpole recently published the 1,000-word feature on Portage County and the hydraulic fracturing waste pumped back into the ground:

As fracking—pumping a briny solution of water, lubricants, anti-bacterial agents, and a cocktail of other chemicals into underground shale formations at high pressure to fracture the rock and extract trapped natural gas—has expanded in the Midwest, so has the need for disposing of used fracking fluid. That fracking waste can be recycled or processed at wastewater treatment facilities, much like sewage. But most of the waste—630 billion gallons, each year—goes back into the ground, pumped into disposal wells, which are then capped and sealed. A bunch of it ends up underneath Portage County.

Nestled in the northeast corner of Ohio, about halfway between Cleveland and Youngstown, this 500-square-mile county pumped 2,358,371 million barrels—almost 75 million gallons—of fracking brine into 15 wells last year, driving enough liquid into the ground to fill a train of tanker cars that would stretch 37 miles. Most of the waste came from out of state.

Stackpole talked to county commissioner Maureen Frederick, who lives less than a mile from a disposal site: "I abhor having the distinction of being the injection well capital of Ohio," she said. His story links out to the related articles from the Akron Beacon Journal, Youngstown Vindicator, and the Record-Courier among others, and is definitely worth your time to read.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation