Drilling Down

Activist Groups to Protest Permit for Injection Well

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Two activist groups are petitioning the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to deny a permit to inject wastewater into a newly drilled well along state Route 193 in Vienna Township that recently came under new ownership.

The groups – FrackFree Mahoning Valley and Buckeye Forest Council — say that the injection well, previously owned by local operator KDA, is now owned by KTCA Holdings LLC, based in Oklahoma City.

The well is near the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and residential areas along Route 193 and is near injection well operations closed by the state because they triggered seismic activity, the groups say.

“One huge problem is that it’s not known where some faults lie until they are activated and an earthquake occurs,” said Teresa Mills of the Buckeye Forest Council. “ODNR must deny the permit to inject in order to protect the public health and safety and stay consistent with its other decisions.”

In 2011, ODNR shut down D&L Energy’s Northstar #1 injection well in Youngstown because it was linked to several earthquakes that rattled the area, one of them a 4.0 magnitude quake that struck on Dec. 31, 2011.

Another injection well in Weathersfield Township, operated by American Water Management Services, was ordered shut down last year by the state because seismic activity – albeit at much lower levels — was recorded at the site.

The Vienna well is 6.7 miles from the Weathersfield well and is 8.6 miles from where D&L Energy’s Northstar #1 well operated, they activists note

The groups plan to hold a rally later today in front of the Weathersfield well and then move to the Vienna well. The groups are calling for the state to keep the Weathersfield operation closed and to deny the Vienna site a permit to inject wastewater.

“It’s too high-risk for manmade earthquakes and drinking water contamination,” Mills said.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.