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Feb. 18, 2013
Hello SEOFIG members and supporters,
A public notice about an application for a new injection well in Washington Co. ran last week (Feb. 11-15) in the Marietta Times. Jann Adams, a SEOFIG member has written a letter to ODNR with comments and objections. We encourage you to write letters, too. You may use part or all of Jann’s letter in your own. Comments/objections must be received in writing (see addresses below) within 15 days after the last day of the public notice. The last day was Feb. 15 so your letters must be received by March 2. Here is Jann’s letter:
To: Chief Richard J. Simmers
Division of Oil and Gas Mineral Resources
2045 Morse Road Building F-2
Columbus, OH 43229-6693
Cc: ODNR Director James Zehringer
2045 Morse Road Building D
Columbus, OH 43229-6693
Re: comments about new permit application for UIC well by Redbird Development
The new permit application by Redbird Development LLC for a new injection well (Redbird SWD #2) in Dunham Township, Section 23, Washington County needs to be denied and studied for the following reasons: to determine the toxicity of the materials being disposed, the safety of the operation and the site, seismic stability, and to put in place a contract with the company to repair damage to roads due to heavy truck traffic. In January, State Representative Bob Hagan asked for a moratorium on oil and gas waste-disposal injection wells. In his letter to the governor, Hagan stated the reason for the action would be to assure citizens “that such wells are not adversely changing our natural environment in an irreparable way.” When I have gone to the ODNR website, there is such praise for oil and gas exploration that it appears to be an advertisement for the industry. How can ODNR lend such support and also be the official watchdog for safety?
Before the new permit is approved, please consider the following:
- Brine and other waste from the oil and natural gas industry must be tested and the chemical content clearly stated. Disposal of these chemicals must meet the same standards that all other companies must adhere to under federal laws of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act.
- The disposal site must be clearly marked from the road with appropriate signage, fencing, and safety measures for dumping.
- The injection well must be inspected regularly (every 10 weeks). In an Athens newspaper, it was reported that, “According to Ohio Department of Natural Resources records of Athens County class II injection well inspections, the Hahn Paul, Hazel Ginsberg, Miller Carless and Earl Akers wells have each gone more than 30 weeks without being inspected in the last three years.” These companies have had violations in the past. We must be vigilant on waste disposal operations. If there are not enough inspectors, then no new injection wells should be permitted.
- Conduct seismic testing – According to studies in the Youngstown area, injection wells play a part in possible earthquakes. Southeastern Ohio has had six earthquakes in the last two years.
- Oil and natural gas companies have signed road use contracts to assure that damage caused by the industry is repaired by the industry. Waste disposal companies must also be responsible for road repair. This should not fall on the shoulders of citizens.
Please consider these concerns before approving the permit.