Hubbard Trustees File Objection to Proposed Injection Well

HUBBARD, Ohio – The Hubbard Township Board of Trustees has written to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources objecting to a Canfield company’s permit application to construct a new wastewater injection well just off state Route 7/62.

The company, Bobcat Hubbard LLC, a subsidiary of Bobcat Energy Resources, has requested that ODNR reissue a permit so the company could develop a new injection well – its third in the Mahoning Valley.

“I’ve been fighting against them forever,” said Richard Hernandez, township trustee.

The letter, dated Oct. 26, points out that Bobcat’s application contains inaccurate information, including the precise address of the proposed well. 

Furthermore, the letter contains information related to potential problems that could be caused by the well. These include the potential for water and groundwater contamination, traffic congestion and disturbance to open coal mines in the immediate area.

Initially, Bobcat had applied for a permit in 2018 to develop a well at the location, just off state Route 7/62 and Hubbard-Masury Road, not far from the Interstate 80 interchange.

However, Hernandez said the township resolutely opposed the venture. “In 2018, Bobcat filed for a permit, and we kept them out of there,” he said.

There is no record filed with ODNR that suggests the permit was ever approved.

The letter requests a public hearing chaired by the ODNR to explain why “this proposed waste injection well is in our community’s best interest.” It also requests that ODNR refrain from issuing any permit approval until all objections and concerns of township citizens are addressed and after a public hearing is convened.

Hernandez said the area near the site holds important environmental resources such as Yankee Creek, which is a tributary to the Shenango Reservoir.

Moreover, Trumbull County has the largest number of Class II injection wells in the state, Hernandez said. Much of this waste is generated from oil and gas drilling operations and hydraulic fracturing, which is used to crack open tight shale formations underground. This also produces millions of barrels of contaminated wastewater. Much of this wastewater is trucked in from Pennsylvania, he said.

Hernandez and fellow trustees William Colletta and Frederick Hanley signed the letter.

Township trustees have also encouraged residents to voice their opinion in opposition against the well through telephone calls and letters to ODNR, Coletta added.

“We’ve also reached out to Trumbull County officials and the health department for their support,” he added.

Injection wells have become a source of contention in the Mahoning Valley since it’s been determined that some of these wells have triggered earthquakes. In 2011, the Valley was rocked by a series of quakes that were caused by a D&L Energy injection well in Youngstown. The most severe of these came on New Year’s Eve, when a temblor registering 4.0 in magnitude swept through the region. That well was abandoned shortly after that quake, and the state placed a moratorium on other wells within a 5-mile radius.

Bobcat assumed some of the assets of the now defunct D&L Energy in 2013, which operated several injection wells in the Valley.

D&L eventually liquidated its assets, and Bobcat took control over a North Lima well. The company several years ago drilled a new well in Coitsville, which was also met with opposition.

Thus far, Hernandez said ODNR has not replied to its Oct. 26 letter. 

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