Tree dedication

at The Castle

The Castle will be conducting a tree dedication ceremony at 2 p.m. Thursday in honor of Arbor Day. One of last remaining “witness trees” on the property from the time of the construction of The Castle in 1855 was recently removed due to safety concerns, so a new tree has been planted. Those at The Castle will also be discussing some new archaeological findings that were discovered during the installation of the new tree.

For information: 373-4180.

Armory project

gets $20,000 grant

A $20,000 grant from the Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund has been awarded to Armory Square Inc. toward construction of Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant restrooms during the third phase renovation of Marietta’s National Guard Armory building.

“The current plan for Phase 3 of the armory renovation project is to combine this $20,000 from the Sisters of St. Joseph with the Ohio Department of Transportation Scenic Byways Grant of $252,397 for an intermodal transportation travel and tourist information center,” according to Armory Square Inc. member Jane Tumas-Serna.

The ODOT grant requires local matching funds of $63,000, and Tumas-Serna said the $20,000 grant from the Sisters of St. Joseph reduces that matching amount to $43,000, for which fundraising efforts continue, including the sales of engraved bricks for a new walkway across the front lawn of the armory.

A press conference announcing the $20,000 grant was held on the steps of the National Guard Armory at 9 a.m. today.

From local reports

Report highlights problems with

fracking database

DENVER – A new report raises serious concerns about the online database used by 11 states to track the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The Harvard Law School report says FracFocus, a reporting site formed by industry groups and intergovernmental agencies in 2011, has loose reporting standards, makes it too difficult for states to track whether companies submit chemical disclosures on time and allows for inconsistency in declaring chemicals trade secrets.

The 11 states that require companies to divulge fracking chemicals through FracFocus: Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas and Utah.

Fracking involves pumping water, fine sand and chemicals underground to split open oil- and gas-bearing rocks.

The site and its operators don’t regulate fracking in any way, but rather provide a repository for relevant information.

Though each state has different reporting requirements, FracFocus offers just one form for disclosing fracking chemicals. This flaw, the Harvard report says, creates loopholes that could allow operators to avoid sharing information required by state law.

Most states also require fracking reports be made within a certain timeframe. Colorado, for example, requires operators to disclose their fracking chemicals within 60 days of completing the process. But FracFocus provides no easy way for regulators to verify when a report was submitted, according to the Harvard report.

From local, wire reports