By Christina Chalmers
February 5, 2014
The oil and gas drilling in eastern Ohio poses a potential threat to western Ohio in the form of Class II injection wells. The Mt. Simon Sandstone geology under the west central Ohio aquifer is ideal for injection wells.
Millions of gallons of fracking waste “brine” (a mixture of toxic chemicals, radiation and high levels of salt) is usually injected into Class II wells. They are permitted and regulated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Old, abandoned, or depleted “orphan” oil and gas wells are reused for waste water injection. ODNR recently gave legal notice on several orphan wells in northern Darke County. Why is ODNR suddenly interested in a few of over 150 orphan wells that have existed in Darke County for decades?
In his column in The Daily Advocate on January 23, 2014, Representative Jim Buchy said, ” … the wells in west central Ohio will not be looked at as wastewater-storing wells because the proper permits and paperwork are not in place.”
ODNR moves quickly and quietly on such matters. Then there is no appeal.
Local governments and individuals have NO input into the permitting process for injection wells. In 2004 the Ohio Legislature approved House Bill 278 that removed Home Rule from cities, villages and townships regarding oil and gas business. However, citizens should still voice concerns to elected officials and others.
Representative Jim Buchy, 614-466-6344 firstname.lastname@example.org
State Senator Keith Faber, 614-466-7584 SD12@mair.sen.state.oh.us
State Senator Bill Beagle, 614-466-6247 SD05@senate.state.us
Representative Richard Adams, 614-466-8114 email@example.com
House Bill 375, the fracking severance tax bill co-sponsored by Mr. Buchy, is pending in Columbus. Proceeds are intended to cap orphan wells, but owners may incur some expenses. The proposed low severance tax rates seem inadequate to regulate the multi-BILLION dollar oil and gas industry and clean up their big fracking messes. Damaged communities will need funds to repair infrastructure compromised by Class II waste water injection wells.
The proposed “small” personal income tax reduction would not buy clean drinking water if the sole source aquifer is ruined by toxic toilet slop from waste water injection wells.
Everyone needs to consider the scientific evidence, or the so-called “blessed opportunity” extolled by Mr. Buchy becomes a curse to the agriculture, air, and aquifer. For reliable information go to www.wofac.org.