Inside Trump’s plan to save Appalachia: Mountains of plastic, rivers of radioactive . One thing you learn traveling through the Upper Midwest is that the various components of the oil and gas industries ,
The pipelines, the storage wells — often have gorgeously evocative names: Mountain Valley, Falcon, Plains, Atlantic Sunrise.These names are a kind of beautification project, like trees planted to obscure a municipal dump. A plant in Pennsboro,
Skyhawk is the soaring name given to a smoothed-over patch of gravel at 67657 Clark Road in St. Clairsville, Ohio. On an overcast day last spring, it was nothing but an empty enclosure ,
Surrounded by heavy plastic fencing the height of a two-story building. Soon, the emptiness would be filled by wells that shoot high-pressure water and chemicals into the ground,forcing up reservoirs of natural gas and other valuable compounds. Skyhawk is a fracking pad.
The process seems especially damaging to expectant mothers, as well as to young children, with a 2017 study linking pollution from fracking wells to poor brain development.Asthma is another possible problem. So is cancer.
Only a few feet from Skyhawk’s edge stood another building, a low structure, with an outdoor area enclosed by chicken-wire fencing.Inside the fencing some plastic toys were visible. The building is home to Creative Learning Daycare and Preschool.
“That wall isn’t going to stop s***,” says Bev Reed, activist from the Concerned Ohio River Residents.Fracking and its associated industries — some of which are potentially more hazardous to human health than fracking itself — have taken over Appalachia.
A facility to handle fracking waste stands next to a school in Belmont, Ohio. A few miles away, on a ridge above town, a fracking well looms over an Amish homestead. Children play in its long, ominous shadow.