By MIKE SEVER | STAFF WRITER
Ohio has approved a permit for a new deep injection well in Deerfield, one of four permits issued as the state resumes issuing permits since a New Year’s Eve quake in Youngstown caused an unofficial moratorium.
Department head Rick Simmers said state natural resources officials believe new regulations include ample safeguards to protect against future quakes.
The state’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources said Tuesday that permits also were going to one site in Athens and two in Washington counties.
Spokeswoman Heidi Hetzel-Evans said another 30 sites that have been backlogged since last the start of the year will be permitted in small batches in coming months. After the quake, the state put off granting permits until it strengthened regulations for the Class II injection wells, which are used to dispose of chemically-laced wastewater from oil and gas drilling.
Portage had nine permits on hold. Fortis Energy Partners filed for the Deerfield well on Dec. 23, 2011. It is to be drilled to 4,800 feet total depth. The others include one in Atwater, three in Nelson and four in Windham Township.
Portage County already has 17 active injection wells, more than any other county.
Hetzel-Evans said the division would probably approve new wells over a period of months. Each application takes 60 to 90 days to review, she said.
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