Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post

A few protestors performed acts of civil disobedience by trespassing onto private property of the K&H Partners LLC #1 site in Coolville, Ohio on Saturday, February 1, 2014.

Athens County home to seven injection wells

There are more injection wells in Athens county alone compared to neighboring states.

The fluids pushed into Ohio’s 199 injection wells don’t need to be approved by the state.

Athens County has seven of those wells.

To compare, Pennsylvania has 10 active underground injection control wells, and the fluids must be disclosed to get a permit.

There are an estimated 30,000 injection wells in the United States, said Matt Eiselstein, Ohio Department of National Resources spokesman.

“Ohio is considered to be geologically better suited for injection operations than some surrounding states,” Eiselstein said.

The are six classes of Underground Injection Control wells, according to the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resource’s website. Those in Athens County allow the injection of brines and other fluids associated with oil and gas production and hydrocarbons for storage.

The number of injection wells in the area can be attributed to the state’s permit standards, said Heather Cantino, a member Athens County Fracking Action Network.

“In USEPA-governed states, which unlike Ohio, cannot run their own programs, it takes years to permit an injection well,” Cantino said. “In Ohio, it takes weeks.”

An injection well permit can be processed in six weeks after an applicant submits the proper material, Eiselstein said.

In West Virginia, however, the amount of time it takes for an application to be processed ranges, said Tom Bass, environmental resources program manager for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

“The review of the application has many variables such as personal time, completeness of the application,” he said. “In the event there is significant public concern, a public hearing may be required.”

Bass said all public comments will be responded to and the permit will be modified if necessary.

According to the ODNR’s website, Ohio Senate Bill 315, approved in 2012, established the nation’s toughest regulations for the exploration of natural gas in deep shale rock formations. But some believe that the law might not be as strict as state officials consider it to be.

The national Government Accountability Office conducted a study that reported Ohio, out of eight other states examined, allowed contaminated waste fluids from oil and gas wells to be disposed without advance disclosure of the contaminants it contained.

The national Environmental Protection Agency oversees all UIC wells. 

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the wells need to be regulated to protect underground drinking water. 

The EPA has approved 39 states, including Ohio, to manage its own programs, according to the GAO study.

The study also explained that a significant percent of the population obtains its drinking water from underground aquifers, and the safety of the drinking water near these injection sites was questionable.

All of the other 10 states in the study required that applicants provide information on the characteristics of fluids injected into class II wells, but Ohio did not. 

Ohio officials frequently claim Ohio as a national leader in the oil and gas industry, said Roxanne Groff, Bern Township trustee.

“That lie has exposed once again and this GAO report helps finish the job of exposing that Ohio is not the national leader it claims to be,” Groff said.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 The Post, Athens OH