KEC Seeking Grant Proposals
The Kent Environmental Council has funding available for a limited number of grants from $500 to $1,000. We seek “Legacy for the Environment” proposals from persons or organizations with ideas for improving the environment in Portage County. We are excited to see what ideas you have. For a full list of criteria, click here for the RFP and Cover Sheet. Deadline for submission is November 30, 2015. For questions, please email us.
Variety of Speakers Featured at KEC’s Weekly Informal Breakfast Meetings
KEC’s weekly informal breakfast meetings in the last month have included speakers Rick Hawksley and John Gwinn from the city of Kent’s Sustainability Commission (for Kent’s sustainability goals, click here) and Bob Howard from the Portage County Combined Health District (to read about public health services “in English,” click here). Breakfast attendees learned about both organizations, including how they function and the limitations they face. Discussions ensued about how KEC and these related organizations could work together to improve outcomes for everyone.
New Research Data Released on Effects of Drilling for Oil, Gas
The following is a summarized version of a document released by Concerned Health Professionals of New York; summarized version submitted to KEC by Swanny Vonieda (December 2014)
Compendium of Research of Scientific, Medical, and Media Finding Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking
“A growing body of peer reviewed studies, accident reports, and investigative articles is now confirming specific, quantifiable evidence of harm and has revealed fundamental problems with the drilling and fracking industry. Industry studies as well as independent analysis indicate inherent engineering problems, including well casings and cement impairments, that cannot be prevented.”
Key points from the 70-page article:
“Concerned Health Professionals of New York is an initiative by health professionals, scientists and medical organizations for raising science-based concerns about the impacts of fracking on public health and Safety. CHPNY provides educational resources and works to ensure that careful consideration of the science and health impacts are at the forefront of the fracking debate.”
To read the full report, click here.
Remembrances of Caroline Arnold
Click here to read a few of the many remembrances of the life of Caroline Arnold, given at her memorial service on October 26, 2014.
Memorial Service for KEC’s Caroline Arnold Set for October 26 at 2 p.m. at Kent Roosevelt High School Auditorium
To view the announcement, click here.
Educational Display on Endangered and Extinct Species Comes to Ohio History Connection through Jan. 4, 2015
The educational display “Going, Going, Gone? Endangered and Extinct Species” is available for viewing at the Ohio History Connection in Columbus. The display highlights some of the many species that have lived in Ohio but are no longer found here. Also included are threatened and endangered species from around the United States. The exhibit, which can be viewed during normal museum hours should provide some great context for a discussion on the possibility of a current, ongoing sixth mass extinction. The exhibit closes January 4, 2015.
Video from KEC Spring Forum on Injection Wells Is Now Available
To view the video, click here.
Global Warming Charts That May Shock You
The Obama administration’s comprehensive National Climate Assessment, released May 6, is packed with data on how much global warming we’ve already suffered and how much worse it could get.
For many, the prospect of shorter winters and longer summers just isn’t disturbing enough:
How 11,000 Oil and Gas Wells Gave Utah Community More Ozone Pollution Than Los Angeles
To find out, click here.
KEC Spring Forum on April 28 to Focus on Injection Wells with Teresa Mills from the Center for Health, Education and Justice
Injection wills will be the topic of the Kent Enfironmental Council’s Spring Forum April 28 athe Kent Presbyterian Church, 1456 E. Summit St., Kent, starking at 7 p.m. The forum’s speaker, Teresa Mills, a member of the staff for the Center for Health, Education and Justice, will speak about injection wells. The Center for Health, Education and Justice (CHEJ) was started by Lois Gibbs (founder and director of CHEJ). CHEJ now assists groups nationwide in dealing with chemical spills and pollution situations. Her talk will cover topics such as how injection wells are constructed, how long they may be expected to last, how they are tested, the requirements they are supposed to meet, who inspects them and how well are they regulated. She will also tell why she and CHEJ petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to remove the Ohio Department of Natural Resources from being the agency primarily responsible for regulating injection wells. After her presentation, she will take questions from the audience.
Dr. Peter J. Schubert to Speak about Renewable Energy Options at KEC Annual Meeting on Feb. 10
Dr. Peter J. Schubert, director of the Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, will be the featured speaker at the Kent Environmental Council’s annual meeting February 10. The meeting will be held at the Kent Presbyterian Church, 1456 East Summit Street with the program beginning at 7 p.m.
All are invited to hear Schubert talk about “Renewable Energy Options at All Scales.” Schubert will focus on providing alternatives and moving the debate into the realm of economic externalities. He has been developing technology solutions and pursuing advocacy and outreach strategies towards this end. He will present several parallel pathways toward a more sustainable future for Northeast Ohio and beyond. Schubert is a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent, Ohio, and continues to take personal interest in his hometown.
The annual business meeting, for members and prospective members, begins at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the membership meeting and at 6:30 p.m. for all. Light refreshments will be provided. There is no charge for admission to the public presentation. Annual membership dues should be paid at the business meeting.
Video of Injection Well Rally in Warren with Bill McKibben Now Available
To view the video, click here.
Draft Climate Assessment Report Released for Public Review and Comment
On January 14, the federal government’s National Climate Assessment Development Advisory Committee a “Draft Climate Assessment Report,” updating the previous 2009 report. The summary page has a link to the full draft report, which is 147 Mb and 1,146 pages long. The full report is available for downloading in its entirety; alternatively, chapters of the report can be downloaded individually. The report also contains a link for public comment and is available until April 14.
A Tour of the Tom S. Cooperrider Kent Bog State Nature Preserve Video
To view the video, click here.
Environmental Need-to-Know List: KEC Members’ Recommendations for Environmental Readings
From George Sosebe
Book: The Third Industrial Revolution
From Gwen Fischer
With gas drilling companies asking Portage County commissioners to lease county property for extraction of natural gas using fracking techniques, Concerned Citizens Ohio, a local Portage County organization, prepared a statement of concern regarding the environmental impact on the county’s resources for presentation to the elected officials. To read that statement, click here.
To learn what Portage County residents can do, click here.
From Edith Chase and Caroline Arnold
Regarding the current status of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant, Port Clinton, Ohio:
First, a little background information from Edith Chase, which she refers to as “A History of Trouble”:
In 2002, Davis-Besse’s reactor head came close to failure when the reactor was shut down to replace spent fuel, and a pineapple-sized hole was found. It was estimated to have been about two months before disaster, after workers had ignored visible signs of corrosion for several years.
The reactor head was then replaced with an unused head, but a more recent breakdown of reactor nozzles made it necessary to replace the replacement. After Davis-Besse was shut down on October 1, 2011, for this repair, a 30-foot-long hairline crack was found in the concrete outer structure of the reactor.
FirstEnergy, owner of the plant, is evaluating this latest trouble to determine the cause and extent of the crack. The company had already submitted an application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend the plant’s operating license for another 20 years to 2037.
For more information, See the Toledo Blade article, “Activists seek city opposition to renewing license for Davis-Besse” by David Patch, Blade staff writer.
From Swanny Voneida
Magazine: Sierra Club Magazine, November/December 2011
2. Mercury from fish and the high danger of human damage to the nervous system, especially fetuses and young children, caused by coal-powered energy plants.
From Ann Ward
Book: The End of Country
Update on Fracking in Ohio
by Ted Voneida, KEC Energy Focus Group Facilitator
On April 6, 2011, I testified against fracking in our state parks at the State House in Columbus before the Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Click here to read my complete testimony.
Of the 37 people who testified, 36 were against the legislation, and one person was for it. That one person was the director of the Ohio Division of Natural Resources. Majority rules, so the bill was passed by our legislature, and now those of us who can’t afford a long weekend at Hilton Head with our families can enjoy the hundreds of trucks filled with brine, the clear cutting of state forest trees for roads, and the joy of watching a highly destructive drilling process right in our own state parks.
I found the National Resources Defense Council article, reprinted below, to be very informative:
10 Reasons Why You Need to Be Concerned
1. Declining Property Values
2. Toxic Chemicals
3. You Can’t Drink Gas
4. Air Quality Concerns
5. Health Effect from Other Pollutants
6. Increases in Traffic
7. Gas Pads Not Limited to Countryside
8. Security and Social Costs
10. Environmental Issues