Read the full article by Julie Grant (The Alleghany Front)

“A non-profit research group has found the oil and gas industry in Ohio has used PFAS, known as ‘forever’ chemicals, in at least 101 oil and gas wells since 2013. Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) released a report on Thursday and said that the state’s disclosure rules prevent the public from knowing how widely PFAS have been used.

PFAS are a class of thousands of man-made chemicals used in everything from food packaging to firefighting foam. ‘And there’s evidence that it has been used widely in the oil and gas industry for decades,’ said Dusty Horwitt, who co-authored a report for Physicians for Social Responsibility. 

PFAS are known as forever chemicals because they don’t break down easily in the environment. They have been linked to some cancers, reduced fertility, and developmental effects in children. 

The group analyzed a database where the oil and gas industry self-reports chemical usage, and found PFAS was used in wells in eight Ohio counties: Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe, and Washington.

‘However, the number of definitively identified cases of PFAS use may significantly underrepresent the use and presence of PFAS in the state associated with oil and gas operations,’ according to the report.

According to Horwitt, PFAS are difficult to track because Ohio rules allow companies to claim ‘trade secrets’ to avoid disclosure of chemicals they use. ‘Between 2013 and 2022, oil and gas companies withheld the identity of at least one trade secret chemical in more than 2,100 oil and gas wells,’ he said.” …