The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

February 12, 2014

ODNR still studying Conneaut injection well permit

CONNEAUT — An application to dig an injection well within Conneaut city limits is still being reviewed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, a spokesman said.

“There are no new developments,” Mark Bruce said in an email message. “Our review process continues.”

Bruce is referring to an injection well that could do business on property a short distance east of Route 7 between Underridge and South Ridge roads. The applicant is American Energy Inc., of Cortland, which is seeking state approval to dig a 6,500-foot well on the site, into which could be pumped upwards of 1,000 gallons of salt brine and other by-products of oil and natural gas drilling each day of operation. The liquid would be pumped into porous rock.

American Energy formally applied for the permit in early December. Robert Barnett, company president, said the site was picked for its proximity to the Pennsylvania state line, Interstate 90 and wells in the area. Residents and government leaders are opposed to the proposed well, citing environmental concerns. Neighbors are concerned that their water supplies could be contaminated. So-called “produced water” is the primary by-product of drilling, but that water can also contain material injected into the well can also include substances used in the drilling process as well as hydrocarbons.

American Energy operates dozens of wells in northeast Ohio and some in Pennsylvania, Barnett said. Three of those operations have been found deficient by the ODNR, the state’s regulatory agency in recent years. In 2011, a well in Trumbull County was found in violation because it lacked proper on-site identification information and was not in production. That well is back in operation and deemed in compliance with state law, Bruce said.

In 2012, a Conneaut well lacked fencing and locks required of operations in an “urban” setting, Bruce said. The problem has been corrected, he said.

Still outstanding, however, are problems detected in August at an injection well American Energy operates in Pierpont Township, according to the ODNR. State inspectors detected a temporary storage tank leaking brine that had killed surrounding grass. Also, the well lacked an automatic shut-off valve, Bruce said. The state ordered American Energy to remove the tank and clean up contaminated soil, he said.

The company complied with those orders, but still needs to repair a containment dike and also submit a plan for secondary containment, Bruce said. American Energy has not responded to messages left seeking comment.

American Energy’s violations are not unusual, Bruce said.

“These are not out of the norm,” he said. “In the grand scheme of things, these were minor violations.”

Past performance can carry weight when applications are considered, Bruce said.

“History is something that can be looked at, especially certain violations at a certain level,” he said. “A lot depends on the severity of the violation.”

So far, the state is not considering a public hearing on the application. A hearing will be scheduled if ODNR receives a comment or objection that is relevant to the health or safety of the public, Bruce said.

“There has to be substantial, relevant information put forward,” he said.

Text Only
Local News
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday