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August 2017

Oil and Gas Boom Slows, Pipelines Moving Forward
One of the first oil and gas firms to invest in Southeast Ohio is cutting operations. 
The Marietta Times recently reported declining production resulting partially from inadequate pipeline infrastructure.
 
Meanwhile, an article from Columbus Business First reports that Ohio is fourth in the nation in pipeline infrastructure. A new report from the American Petroleum Institute cites more than 24,000 miles of gas pipeline in Ohio. That does not include projects such as Kinder Morgan's 215 mile Utopia East, Energy Transfer's 383 mile Rover pipeline, the 200 mile Nexus project, or many others proposed or in the development "pipeline."
  
Is Treated Fracking Water Safe for Use? 
A new study from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies looked at water from hydraulic fracturing operations that had been treated for reuse.
     
They found significant contamination downstream from the water treatment sites in Pennsylvania. This water left behind nonylphenol ethoxylates (endocrine-disrupting chemicals), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (carcinogenic), and elevated levels of radium.
  
This calls into question the "beneficial reuse of produced water" that industry advocates prefer over the use of injection wells. Some California Water Boards permit the use of the fracking water for irrigation of produce.
   
California Lists Roundup Ingredient as Possible Carcinogen
California Proposition 65 will require that all products that contain glyphosate—
a key active ingredient in Roundupwill need to carry a warning label. 
   
The state began the process to require the label two years ago, but Monsanto sued. While the International Agency for Research on Cancer found a link between glyphosate and cancer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not come to the same conclusion.
 
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, farmers sprayed 2.6 billion pounds of glyphosate on farmland in the U.S. between 1992-2012.
   
Has Pesticide or GE Drift Damaged Your Farm?
According to the Organic Survey conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, only one Ohio farmer experienced genetic engineering (GE) drift in 2015. When OEFFA surveyed our farmers late in 2016, more than 4% said they experienced contamination: 3% GE contamination, 5% pesticide drift, and 2.5% experienced both. Of course our farmers come from many states, not just Ohio, but we expect that farmers are reluctant to report contamination for a variety of reasons.
  
OEFFA will be working for financial restitution for farmers that have experienced GE drift. In order to be able to do that work effectively, we need to be able to talk about the environmental, economic, and social damage resulting from contamination.
  
Please contact OEFFA policy coordinator Amalie Lipstreu if you have experienced this problem. Call (614) 947-1607 or email amalie@oeffa.org.

You Can Impact the New GE Label
Congress passed a law in 2016 that will require foods with GE ingredients to be labeled. But how, where, and when those foods will be labeled is an open question. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service is seeking your input to identify answers. 
  
We know you care about this issue as a result of the public opinion poll OEFFA conducted in 2015. You have an opportunity today to make a real difference on this issue. Find more information, sample comments, and details on how to send your thoughts to the USDA here.
 
OEFFA is Working for You
In the past month, OEFFA submitted questions for consideration by the Senate Agriculture Committee as they had a hearing in preparation for the next Farm Bill. 

Unfortunately, at the hearing on organics, specialty crops, and local foods, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Roberts derided "activist" group involvement in organics and characterized the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) as "dysfunctional" when nothing could be further from the truth. 

The open and transparent process that allows all food and agriculture interests to share their views means that everyone can participate in making the organic program the best it can be. Each NOSB volunteer board member dedicates five years and thousands of hours to reviewing materials, reading comments, and informing the National Organic Program (NOP). This board is key to ensuring that the NOP maintains its integrity and improves. 

For just five days after the hearing, the committee accepted comments. OEFFA submitted detailed comments on the NOSB, the NOP, and local food systems.

In addition, we represent OEFFA farmer interests on the NRCS state technical committee in Ohio and we also serve on the governance council of the Ohio Food Policy Network. Through those efforts, we are working to ensure that conservation programs work well for all ecological farmers and that we continue to grow healthy, local food systems in Ohio. 

Please feel free to contact us at policy@oeffa.org and support our work.



Farm Bill  ♦  Food Safety  ♦ Fracking  ♦ GE Labeling  ♦ Climate Change
Advocacy Toolkit
  
 

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association

41 Croswell Rd., Columbus OH 43214

(614) 421-2022   www.oeffa.org

OEFFA

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