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Protecting Ohio's Farmland from Fracking

High-volume horizontal hydrofracturing, commonly referred to as "fracking," extracts natural gas from shale rock formations. Unlike conventional natural gas drilling, fracking requires larger well pads, leads to land fragmentation, and can result in air and water pollution and soil contamination. During fracking, enormous amounts of water mixed with sand and toxic chemicals are injected underground. Waste water is then stored in injection wells (which have been linked to earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio and elsewhere).

The proliferation of fracking has also resulted in a large increase in pipeline construction, which impacts large portions of Ohio, well beyond the fracking zones. This increases the potential for organic farmers to lose certification and compromises healthy soil.

In Ohio, there have been more than 20 accidents related to fracking in the past few years. It is difficult to track the direct impact of these accidents as many of the chemicals used in the process have "trade secret" protection. These accidents also involve the release of technically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material.

Greater oversight of fracking, wastewater disposal, and pipeline construction is a minimum necessary baseline to protect our food and farm system.

If you would like more information, resources, or to find out if there is an anti-fracking group in your community, contact OEFFA.

Fracking and Farmland: Stories from the Field

Farmers' livelihoods depend on the integrity of the soil, clean water, and pollution-free air. Because of their reliance on the land, farmers are among those most at risk to suffer from the negative impacts of fracking. As the fracking industry grows in Ohio, farmers' concerns are mounting. Click here to read about the challenges that four Ohio farmers are facing and what you can do to help.

Listen to this story about an OEFFA farmer currently surrounded by fracking operations and a compressor station. He was forced to allow his farm to be used for fracking. 

New Pipelines

There are several new pipeline projects in process or proposed to transport fracked gas or natural gas byproducts across Ohio, and frequently outside of the United States. The ET Rover and the Nexus pipeline are two of the largest projects to date. OEFFA has been successful in ensuring protections for organic farmers through the environmental impact process. If you are a farmer in the path of oil and gas pipelines, contact OEFFA. We have an organic agriculture impact mitigation plan, which serves as a baseline for protecting organic farms from contamination.

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The success of our policy work relies on OEFFA's dedicated members, who are leading the way to strong and healthy local food systems. For more information about OEFFA's policy work or to get involved, contact policy@oeffa.org or (614) 421-2022 Ext. 208.

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