Who We Are
Ashtabula County Water Watch is an all-volunteer group of concerned residents who have been working together since 2012 to address issues related to water quality, ecosystem health, and the wellbeing of rural and urban communities in Ashtabula County.
Our members originally started meeting at the height of a local oil and gas lease-signing frenzy – our friends and neighbors were faced with difficult decisions about fracking on their property, combined with a severe lack of information.
Currently, we tend to focus mostly on fracking waste, as Ashtabula County has the second highest number of injection wells in Ohio. We focus on issues that threaten the quality of our water, and the health of our ecosystems and communities. These include not only injection wells, but also: by-products of the gas and oil industry being sprayed on our roads (“brine”), Superfund sites, and the Ashtabula Energy, LLC (Velocys) gas-to-liquid refinery.
We work hard to balance our concerns regarding the many toxic sites and industries in Ashtabula County with our love for and commitment to this place we call home. We strive to promote all of the good in our community while urging better regulation, cleaner policies, and local independent economic development.
Our mission is to protect the water quality and health of Ashtabula County residents and ecosystems.
We want to:
- Protect our beautiful Great Lake, our 3 wild and scenic rivers, and all our sources of clean water
- Achieve a moratorium on new and existing injection wells
- Protect our roads from radioactive toxic brine
- Gain local control of waste regulation
- Realize transparency of waste management, its regulation, and processes. What exactly is in the wastewater injected in our communities?
- Advocate for an effective enforcement agency for the oil and gas industry. Government agencies need to properly enforce and respect clean water laws, oil and gas regulations, and local zoning.
- Keep fracking out of Ashtabula County
- Provide community education and inspire empowerment to take action on these issues
As we do this work, we strive to shift the public perception of our county in a positive direction. Thus our goals include:
- Supporting industry that provides clean, healthy, stable jobs
- Retaining the positive energy, talent, and intelligence of county youth and adult residents
- Providing education and demonstration of renewable energy technologies and resources