ODNR information meeting on injection wells May 30

By Mike Sever | Staff Writer Published:

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has set a public information meeting for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 30 at Wingfoot Lake State Park about new Class II injection wells being permitted for Nelson.

The meeting will be held in the Pine Tree Lodge of the park, located about a mile west of S.R. 43 and south of Waterloo Road on Goodyear Park Boulevard. The meeting was requested by local residents concerned that permits have been granted for seven new injection wells on land in Nelson Township near the Windham Township line.

The session will include staff from ODNR's Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management at stations to respond to questions and concerns from attendees.

ODNR will take additional spoken or written statements and questions to be answered in writing at a later date.

Several residents questioned why ODNR would schedule a public information meeting in Suffield to talk about wells in Nelson. The two are in opposite corners of the county and Nelson residents will have a one-way drive of at least 28 miles and 40 minutes to attend.

Mark Bruce of ODNR's Office of Communications, said the state tries to make such information sessions "as convenient as possible." He said Wingfoot Lake State Park was the closest state facility with adequate meeting space.

ODNR is also stressing that crowd size and activities will be strictly controlled.

The release notes that only small personal items and purses will be allowed in the lodge, that all bags may be subject to inspection by law enforcement, and that no video cameras, demonstrations, signs or banners will be allowed inside. The fire marshal's room occupancy limit will be enforced.

Residents raised questions when ODNR approved permits for seven Class II injection wells on property owned by Dale Soinski in Nelson. Soinski also has a horizontal hydraulic fracture oil and gas well nearby.

Residents have raised questions about the safety of injections wells, which are used to dispose of waste fluids from drilling, stimulation and production of oil and gas.

ODNR said there has been no groundwater contamination from subsurface injection, since ODNR received authority to regulate the wells in 1983.

According to ODNR, inection wells have multiple safeguards in how they are constructed and regulated to prevent contamination of groundwater.

Critics have said the expansion of horizontal hydraulic fracture well drilling has put many more trucks on rural back roads carrying drilling brine and production fluids to injection wells, raising the potential for accidents and roadside contamination.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1125 or msever@recordpub.com

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