Friday, July 1, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.


SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Ritchie County Disposal Well Leaking Frack Waste


Monday, January 11, 2016   

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - A disposal well site in Ritchie County is leaking frack waste, according to a West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection report.

After complaints from residents, the DEP took samples from around a Hall Drilling waste-injection well near Ellenboro last fall. Wheeling Jesuit University biology professor Ben Stout examined the report and followed up by taking his own samples. He says disposal wells such as these are circled by smaller monitoring wells, and downhill from one of those is an open seep leaking onto the hillside.

"And they sampled that seep, and it obviously has contamination in it," says Stout. "That's extraordinary compared to the surrounding waterways. And it's a little bit worrisome."

That sample site showed elevated levels of salts, acidity, conductivity, total dissolved solids and some metals. Neither Hall Drilling nor the DEP replied to multiple requests for comment.

Stout says the contaminants are pretty clearly waste from Marcellus drilling. He says that suggests the disposal well may be breached, or that the integrity of the operation is otherwise compromised. Although he says at the time he found little sign of the contaminants reaching the surface water.

"We sampled the streams within the vicinity of it and we didn't see anything in the streams out of the ordinary. But there is leakage from the underground injection well," says Stout.

DEP documents show that the agency has discussed what steps the company should take, although it's unclear from the documents if the problem is now being dealt with.

get more stories like this via email

While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …


The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …

The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021