Press Release

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OEC Statement on Methane Gas Well Pad Leak in Columbiana County

Fairfield Township, OH — Methane gas is currently being released into the air near Crestview High School after a well pad was struck this morning in Columbiana County, according to a news release from the Ohio Governor. The ongoing leak occurred on the Hilcorp Energy Company Tarka well pad on Fairfield School Road, prompting a 1-mile evacuation for surrounding residents.

The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) continues to monitor the impact of the methane leak while gathering more information about the incident.

It is important to note: 

  • This has happened before in Ohio. In 2018, a blowout at a natural gas well in Belmont County released more methane than the entire oil and gas industries of many nations do in one year.
  • Ohioans have long experienced environmental harm from the oil and gas industry; methane pollution specifically contributes to asthma, cancer and many other public health issues.
  • Methane is the primary component of natural gas and is the main gas emitted during oil and gas production. Methane emissions are more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period: trapping heat 80 times more effectively. Leaked methane doesn’t just pose climate effects; it also is often accompanied by other escaping gasses that together pose detrimental health risks to communities surrounding and downwind of oil and gas sites.
  • Learn more about methane emissions from well pads.

In response to the situation, the following quote can be attributed, in whole or in part, to Chris Colón, Northeast Ohio Regional Director for the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC):

“As the local community and first responders in Columbiana County respond to the well now leaking harmful methane gas, our team continues to monitor the situation and its impact on residents and the environment. It will likely take time before we know the full extent of the human health impacts and environmental damage caused by the leaking methane gas — a major contributor to climate change. As the community faces potentially serious health and safety concerns and looks for answers in the coming days, we will support residents, share resources as we can, and amplify community concerns.”