Athens County Commissioners sent a letter to ODNR on Wed., Nov. 27, requesting a moratorium on the K&H2 injection well permitting process. The letter calls for a complete seismic study and review of the area. It states that the Nov. 20 3.5M Athens County earthquake, “felt in Little Hocking near the K&H site raises substantive concerns relevant to health, safety, and environmental conservation.” Among these concerns, the letter states, are the peer-reviewed science documenting associations between injection and quakes and “the incompleteness of the data on the Athens 2013 quake [that] point to the lack of seismic data for the region,” according to USGS. The letter states that the study should include determining “whether citing an injection well in an active earthquake zone is proper.”
Athens City Council also voted unanimously Monday evening (12-2-13) to oppose permitting of the K&H2 injection well based on health and safety concerns, especially given recent seismic activity in the area and the inability of concrete to guarantee well integrity in an earthquake.
A report from Perry County indicates that the Sherrif’s office entrance, damaged in the Nov. 20 Athens County quake, is now a danger to people entering the building.
ACFAN NOTE: The Athens News, in printing a “correction” of its discussion of the earthquake, omitted a vital error in ODNR information provided recently to the News: The map of area injection wells provided by ODNR and purporting to include abandoned and plugged wells, which appeared on the front page of the Athens News last month, OMITS the abandoned well a mile from the Nov. 20 Athens quake epicenter, although this well was described in an e-mail from ODNR as follows:
Note the following information on the lack of accurate reporting prevalent with small earthquakes in the U.S. noted by William L. Ellsworth in his review, Injection-Induced Earthquakes, in the peer-reviewed journal, SCIENCE 12 JULY 2013 VOL 341:
“…seismic monitoring capabilities in many of the areas in which wastewater injection activities have increased are not capable of detecting small earthquake activity that may presage larger seismic events.
“… smaller [than 3.0M] earthquakes are not routinely reported in the central and eastern United States. So it is possible that smaller earthquakes could be more common in the vicinity of these wells…