Thursday, June 22, 2017



Bethlehem Township Resident
Richard Regula
Speaks Out on Navarre Area Spill

Recently, it came to light (discovered by the Ohio EPA on April 13, 2017) that there was a "in the process of construction"  natural gas pipeline (Rover) drilling mud spill in Navarre located in Bethlehem Township, home of Stark County commissioner Richard Regula.

Later on in this blog, I will share Regula's in depth observations (via videotaped interview done yesterday) about the occurrence of the spill, its remediation and how our Ohio and national governments are responding.

However, an aspect of the spill that the commissioner did not know much about, that is to say—the city of Canton government—should be one that Cantonians and indeed

Initially, the company doing the drilling put out a press release saying that nearby wells and other major water supply wells (e.g. Canton's Sugarcreek well field, the Tuscarawas river, et cetera) were not at risk for contamination.

A number of years ago (December, 2010), I recall being at an event put on by Canton City Council president Allen Schulman in which he was touting Canton very large drinking water resources as a major asset in the arsenal of infrastructure with which Canton might lure job producing industry and commerce to come to Canton and Stark County.

Another key component of the-then being established Canton Water Commission (headed up by Schulman) was the "protection" of the water supply.

Why have a mission protecting Canton's drinking water supply?

The meeting occurred about the time that fracking for natural gas first came to Stark County.

Then Plain Township trustee (now Stark County clerk of courts) Louis Giavasis was the very first Stark County public official to note of the arrival of fracking the inherent dangers/problems that some see in fracking if not closely monitored and controlled by all levels of government; especially state and local governments.

Another key player in bringing Stark County-based public attention to the dangers that might affect Stark County is long time Stark County civic activist Chris Borello who now lives in Plain Township but formerly lived in Lake Township from whence she commenced her opposition (in the early 1980s) to the ways and means that the U.S. EPA, the Ohio EPA, Stark County-based legislative officials and other local government officials (specifically, the-then township trustees) were ineffectively dealing with dangers to public health potential posed by the Uniontown industrial landfill.

The landfill was the dumping ground for industrial wastes (some highly toxic) buried at a site about 1/2 mile south of Uniontown on the east side of Cleveland Avenue.

Strangely enough, all the hullabaloo generated by Schulman has faded away in terms of a continuing public highlighting of  marketability/protection of Canton's valuable water resource.


Likely because a consensus of government officials (in a macro view sense) post-2010-onset-alarm developed that Canton government was on-top-of-the-matter and there was very little if anything for the general public to be alarmed about.

With the April 13 discovered by the Ohio EPA Energy Transfers Partners (ETP) spill in Navarre, the alarm bells are again ringing loudly these days.

Despite the initial ETP assurances that the spill was nothing to be concerned about back in April, the controversy lives on on June 22, 2017.

This past Monday, Canton City Council had its water superintendent Tyler Converse come to council and deal with questions on whether or not Canton/Stark County-based Canton water customers had any reason to be concerned about in terms of whether or not the public could feel comfortable with drinking water from the Sugarcreek water facility.

Converse said that Sugarcreek wellfield was about 1/2 mile away from the spill and that he felt that it was very unlikely that any pollutants borne by migrating contaminated (according to the Ohio EPS) drilling mud would make it to Sugarcreek.

But Converse could not absolutely say that the migration would not take place; only, if it did, it would take six to nine months.

Another cautionary flag that Bethlehem locals (well water users), Cantonians and those of us out in the townships/Massillon (via Aqua Ohio) who pipe in generated water from wells located in the spill area, the fact that Canton has hired a law firm to look out for Canton and its customers' interests with regard to whatever longer term problems might develop with the water supply, should Converse be wrong and the contaminated drill mud does get into the Sugarcreek watershed.

It appears that the Ohio EPA is boring in on and staying intimately involved in monitoring and supervising the clean up.

The intense interest of Canton City Council as demonstrated in having the city's water superintendent stay on top of the matter and reporting to council on a continuing basis is encouraging that members are focused on protecting this critically important asset.

Mostly, these days, Canton is struggling to stay afloat with relatively little to cheer about.

Even the Pro Football Hall of Fame expansion project which Canton has invested $5 million in continues to have its skeptics as to whether or not the project will come anywhere near what Canton needs in terms of a economic development boon on the shoulders of which Canton hopes to pull itself out of financial/economic mire.

Sources tell me that the stadium rebuild project is now at $130 million and that the total project is estimated to cost some $800 million and that it is a puzzlement where the money will come from.

One source said that one of the more disturbing aspects of the project is that some of it is being paid for with borrowed (bond) money.

What Canton can be assured of is the tremendous value of its pristine water supply.  While a Canton asset, it has potential to redound to the benefit all of Stark County.

So its up to Canton/Stark County citizens, Canton government, Stark County government, the Ohio EPA and FERC to go all out in protecting this precious resource.

As indicated earlier in this article, a lead Stark County citizen in monitoring developments in dealing with the spill is Plain Township resident Chris Borello.

Here is the core comment of an e-mail she sent out (copied to a number of Canton city officials including council president Allen Schulman)  on June 2nd:

Sent: Fri, Jun 2, 2017 12:51 pm

Subject: Fwd: Rover Pipeline faces more environmental scrutiny


This is exactly why I urged proper testing of the "spill", including water soluble radium 226, questioning whether the drilling muds could possibly be "recycled" given what all we have ready about the industry re - using various materials, asking if indeed, it could be "crapped up."

Now, citizens need to know what other parameters /chemicals were tested for , including radium, ( and be assured that proper scientific methods are used in the process, ie., gamma spec)....

Hopefully now the local newspapers will also listen to the concerns by those living near the Stark Countywide Landfill concerning the smoldering landfill fire and concerns about the proximity of this same pipeline to the landfill...!

Chris for Stark County Concerned Citizens

For its part, Aqua Ohio says that its on-going monitoring of water quality of its supply shows no contamination.

As indicated above, the SCPR sat down with Richard Regula (mainly in his role as a lifetime Bethlehem Township resident but peripherally as a Stark County commissioner) who has taken a deep interest in the spill having occurred and following up with state officialdom in a quest to see his community interests and the local and countywide water supply being remediated and protected.

Here is that video (16:44)

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