New Injection Well Planned for Coitsville Site

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A second Class II wastewater injection well is planned for a site along U.S. Route 422 in Coitsville Township, according to records from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Bobcat Coitsville LLC has submitted an application to ODNR to drill a new injection well at the existing Northstar Collins #6 facility at 5000 McCartney Road, ODNR records show.

According to a proposed site plan filed with the application, the new well would be drilled 216 feet from McCartney Road and about 100 feet east of where an existing disposal well is located.

Class II injection wells are used to store wastewater generated from oil and gas drilling operations in the Utica and Marcellus shale formations in Ohio and Pennsylvania. 

Bobcat Coitsville is a subsidiary of Bobcat Energy Resources, based in Canfield. 

Nicholas Paparodis, Bobcat’s director of business development, said that the company is “expanding capacity at the site to meet demand.” ODNR has yet to approve a permit for the new well. Calls to ODNR were not returned.

The company acquired the Collins well in Coitsville and another well in North Lima from now-defunct D&L Energy in 2013 after that company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. D&L’s owner, the late Ben Lupo, was convicted of violating the U.S. Clean Water Act and was sentenced to a year in prison. 

Injection wells in the Mahoning Valley have become a source of heated debate since a 4.0 earthquake struck the region on Dec. 31, 2011. The quake and at least seven others earlier that year were tied to an injection well in Youngstown, then operated by D&L Energy. 

The quakes led to a shutdown of all injection well activity in the vicinity, including the former D&L well in Coitsville and another in Girard.  The North Lima well – the Northstar Lucky #4 well – was drilled but never placed into operation.

Those opposed to injection wells say they pose a threat to the public and the environment, since they contain toxins used in the hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” process.

Since then, however, injection well operations have restarted across the Mahoning Valley.

In October 2015, the North Lima well reopened and started to accept wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations.

In early 2019, ODNR approved a plan for Bobcat to restart the Collins #6 well and to build a new wastewater injection facility at the site. 

Earlier this year, residents of the township became concerned when contaminated wastewater was observed overflowing from two of the holding tanks at the Coitsville site. Inspectors from ODNR determined that one valve malfunctioned while another one broke.

The wastewater was trapped in a containment system at the facility, and there was never any risk to the public or the environment, ODNR said. 

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.