Ohio environmental officials will begin studying the Stillwater River watershed this year to monitor the quality of the river that passes through parts of Ohio and Indiana.
The state scenic river is part of the Great Miami River watershed. It flows 67 miles from its headwaters in Indiana and northern Darke County in western Ohio through Miami County to the Great Miami River in Dayton.
I walk into the woods and pastures to touch middle summer, finding August’s white snakeroot with huge buds, wood nettle with its petals, wingstem ready to open, parsnips half to seed, but still flowering enough to make part of the field yellow, while the other part is white with daisy fleabane. Wild onions are blooming. Virginia roses still bright pink. Prickly buckeye fruits, an inch in diameter, are hanging from the trees.
The amount of waste from the shale gas and oil drilling process injected into disposal wells in Ohio is continuing to rise.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says that 14.2 million barrels of fluids and other waste from the process of hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - were injected into disposal wells in the state in 2012. That was up 12 percent from the previous year.
When thistles come undone, then middle summer has arrived, and all the middle-summer flowers are in bloom. Purple loosestrife, lizard’s tail, Queen Anne’s lace, purple coneflower, wild petunia, bouncing bet, dayflower, sow thistle, white vervain, dogbane, black-eyed Susan, square-stemmed germander, pokeweed, St. John’s wort, teasel, touch-me-not, lopseed and avens are all blossoming in the woods and fields.
An important study on possible health impacts of natural gas drilling is still looking for additional funding.
Geisinger Health System spokeswoman Amanda O'Rourke said Wednesday the $1 million grant that was announced in February 2012 remains the only funding for a project that was projected to cost at least $25 million.
Geisinger plans to look at health histories of hundreds of thousands of patients who live near Marcellus Shale gas wells in Pennsylvania. Geisinger is based in Danville.