At FaCT, we track news relating to climate change and environmental issues that impact the citizens of the Ohio River Valley region and beyond.


  • Fracking waste wells owned by an Ohio senator are leaking. The state paid $1.3 million to clean it up

    Injection wells owned by an Ohio state senator leaked fracking waste deep underground in Noble County before blasting through the surface miles away at an oil well, warranting a $1.3 million cleanup effort. The state paid to remediate the mess in January 2021, but it hasn’t asked state Sen. Brian Chavez’s Deeprock Disposal Solutions for a dime to cover the costs. Instead, state regulators billed the owners of the idled production well that the brine used as a chimney to reach the surface before contaminating nearby land and water.

  • Athens Co. fracking leak

    Let’s say you, like roughly 45% of Ohioans, rely on groundwater wells to provide a constant supply of clean, safe drinking water. Now suppose, unbeknownst to you, an exceptionally toxic cocktail of radioactive wastewater has been leaking underground and possibly contaminating the water you and your family drink.

  • Ohio commission awards bids to frack oil and gas under state parks and wildlife areas

    A investigation last fall found that over a hundred Ohio residents said their names were attached to form letters sent to the commission in a public comment period without their knowledge — all of them urging state parks to allow fracking. The letters could be traced back to multiple pro-oil entities, including Consumer Energy Alliance, a Texas-based pro-oil and gas organization. The alliance has denied collecting names without permission and has called's coverage of the situation "libelous."

  • 2 companies chosen to frack for oil and gas under Ohio state park

    An Ohio commission picked West Virginia-based Infinity Natural Resources to drill for oil and gas under Salt Fork State Park in a Monday meeting where opponents protested with signs, yelling and tears. The Ohio Oil and Gas Land Management Commission also selected Texas-based Encino Energy for fracking under Valley Run Wildlife Area in Carroll County and Zepernick Wildlife Area in Columbiana County.


    Groups concerned about fracking for oil and gas in Ohio’s state lands filed a lawsuit last week, appealing a commission’s approval of seven nominations to drill under Salt Fork State Park and two wildlife areas, claiming it violated state law. The Ohio Oil and Gas Land Management Commission approved the nominations at a contentious meeting in November. In the lawsuit, filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, the groups Save Ohio Parks, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Buckeye Environmental Network and Ohio Environmental Council claim that the commission failed to properly consider the proposals.

East Palestine

  • Chemicals from East Palestine derailment spread to 16 US states, data shows

    Chemicals released during the East Palestine train wreck fires in February 2023 in Ohio were carried across 16 US states, new research of federal precipitation and pollution data shows. Analysis of rain and snow samples collected from northern Wisconsin to Maine to North Carolina in the weeks following the crash found the highest levels of pH and some compounds recorded over the last ten years. That includes chloride, which researchers say was largely released during a controversial controlled burn of highly toxic vinyl chloride carried by the train.

  • Are we just collateral damage?

    Rolling catastrophes like the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 3 are unfortunately too similar to the same stories that we at the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) have been privy to for over 25 years. Hearing bad news on a daily basis hardens you, but this man-made disaster struck very close to home for both of us. Chad lives one hour southeast of East Palestine and Tish one hour northwest. As Community Rights and Rights of Nature organizers and activists, we are well aware that every environmental disaster impacts us all, but this one hit closer than most.

  • East Palestine wastewater (02/05/24)

    Last August, the company announced it would accept treated wastewater from the East Palestine train derailment. Local officials pushed back but found there was nothing they could do. The East Palestine wastewater coming into Coshocton is something that has really galvanized people, and I think, opened people’s eyes in particular, to how little say our community has over what wastes get disposed of here,” Lucy Bryan Malenke explained.

  • More work to be done in E. Palestine (02/03/24)

    One year after a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in the heart of East Palestine, Ohio, the wounds in this working-class town still run deep. “We’re at the same spot we were 12 months ago because we don’t feel safe anymore in our own community because of the damage that could have been caused,” said gas station proprietor Anna Sevi-Doss, whose Marathon pump and adjoining liquor store butt right up against the very same railroad tracks that saw the derailment just blocks away.

  • Critics see conflict of interest in East Palestine train derailment cleanup (02/03/24)

    "It's like the fox guarding the henhouse," said Lesley Pacey, an environmental investigator for the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit that supports whistleblowers and which is suing the EPA to get records on its response to the derailment. "They [CTEH] tend to come up with the result that the polluter would like to see … the BP oil spill, Hurricane Katrina, multiple situations where they went in and didn't find anything wrong."

Climate change

  • Giant Batteries Are Transforming the Way the U.S. Uses Electricity

    They’re delivering solar power after dark in California and helping to stabilize grids in other states. And the technology is expanding rapidly.

  • Ohio Solar Mounts a Comeback

    LONDON, Ohio—Mark Forrest had a choice: Save his political career or continue to support a solar power project that he saw as an economic bonanza for his Ohio county. He chose the latter. “I’m a stubborn bastard,” he said, on a recent drive near his farm. He was the only person on the three-member Madison County Board of Commissioners to support the Oak Run Solar Project. The 800-megawatt solar array would be the largest in Ohio and one of the largest in the country, built on farmland owned by a company connected to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

  • Have Climate Questions? Get answers here.

    Climate change is tremendously complex — and we’re here to help. The climate desk at The Times has been collecting reader questions and has started answering them here.

  • Cleveland, the Reforested City

    Watch a panel discussion at the Cleveland City Club regarding the reforestation of Cleveland

  • Robots Are More Ethical Than Humans

    In 1948, the science fiction author Isaac Asimov imagined a world in which robots would become so human-like that they would require programming that instilled a moral code, which would, first and foremost, protect humans from robots seeking to harm us in any way. As I pondered how these ethical robots would act in our world today, it dawned on me that they would be morally superior to the human species in various ways. In particular, they would not be able to undertake actions that damage our climate and thereby inflict harm.


  • Reduce, reuse, redirect outrage: How plastic makers used recycling as a fig leaf

    The plastics industry has worked for decades to convince people and policymakers that recycling would keep waste out of landfills and the environment. Consumers sort their trash so plastic packaging can be repurposed, and local governments use taxpayer money to gather and process the material. Yet from the early days of recycling, plastic makers, including oil and gas companies, knew that it wasn't a viable solution to deal with increasing amounts of waste, according to documents uncovered by the Center for Climate Integrity.

Radioactive Pollutants

  • Uranium still poisoning Navajo people. But they can't stop the ore from coming

    Over 500 abandoned uranium mines sit on Navajo land, many with radiation levels above the federal safety limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to the agency. Navajo water is still contaminated with uranium poisoning, which the EPA says has caused a surge in health complications and premature death among uranium miners and Navajo children. The symptoms of uranium poisoning became so common within the tribe, doctors began calling the disorder "Navajo neuropathy."

  • Justin Nobel: Unveiling the Radioactive Truth: Big Oil’s Dangerous Secret

    In this episode of "Just the Facts," featuring guest Justin Nobel, an acclaimed journalist and author, a dark and critical issue within the oil and gas industry comes to light—radioactivity in oil field waste. Nobel, who spent seven years investigating and writing his book "Petroleum 238: Big Oil’s Dangerous Secret and the Grassroots Fight to Stop It," provides alarming revelations about the radioactive pollutants associated with oil and gas extraction that have been neglected by the industry and overlooked by governing bodies.


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