FreshWater Accountability Project (FWAP) has filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an investigation of GreenHunter Resources, Inc.’s statements to potential investors and current shareholders that the company currently is legally empowered to ship via barge on the Ohio River the chemical and radioactive wastes from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for oil and gas.
The complaint was filed amid mounting concerns among Ohio River Basin citizen organizations that GreenHunter repeats the claims time and again, despite the fact that the U.S. Coast Guard has made no decision to allow fracking waste (called Shale Gas Extraction Waste Water, or SGEWW) to be barge-shipped.
GreenHunter insists to the finance community that it may legally ship fracking waste to injection wells and waste handling facilities being built in Meigs County, Ohio and Ritchie County, West Virginia.
GreenHunter Water LLC alleges USCG approval on their website by stating, “GreenHunter Water has spearheaded the movement to barge oilfield waste water. In addition to GreenHunter’s state-of-the-art trucking and pipeline disposal services, barging is considered one of the safest and most cost-effective modes of transport. The company has received U.S. Coast Guard approval to transport oilfield waste products by barge on the in-land waterways.” (http://www.greenhunterresources.com/operations/greenhunter-water/barging/).
The Coast Guard has repeatedly stated that approval has not been given, and that there is no timetable for approval of GreenHunter’s 2013 request that SGEWW be added to the register of lawful cargoes on inland waterways.
Additionally, in a January 26, 2015 news release to investors, GreenHunter Resources, Inc.’s COO, Kirk Trosclair, stated, “While the increase in demand for services is an important component of our success, the improvement of increasing efficiencies at GreenHunter Resources is equally important. The U.S. Coast Guard approval is a significant ‘win’ for both GreenHunter Resources and our valued clients.”
A follow-up statement was then made to investors during a January 27, 2015 phone conference in which Gary Evans, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at GreenHunter Resources, Inc., stated, “It took us two years, but we finally got U.S. Coast Guard approval to barge brine down the Ohio River and on inland waterways.”
Because the USCG approval has not been given for the barging of SGEWW on the Ohio River, FWAP attorney, Terry Lodge, filed a formal complaint against the company with the SEC on Friday, June 12.
“It appears that GreenHunterwants shareholders to believe that ‘oilfield waste’ is the same as shale gas waste water, which is not the case,” stated Lea Harper, Managing Director of FWAP. “Waste from fracking is known to be explosive, hazardous and radioactive, so not only is the company misrepresenting what it intends to transport, the failure by the company to distinguish between conventional oilfield waste and SGEWW from unconventional drilling to construct a misleading business case to investors warrants investigation.”
“We have waited for GreenHunter LLC to voluntarily right the record and come clean with investors about the lack of Coast Guard approval,” stated attorney Lodge.
“Unfortunately, the company appears to believe it can strong arm the Coast Guard and circumvent regulations by falsely categorizing waste from unconventional drilling as the same as waste from conventional drilling. There is a huge and dangerous difference. The SEC must decide whether GreenHunter is misleading investors to attract new interest and new money to their enterprises.”
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