New injection well permit application for Athens County: write ODNR today!

A permit application has been submitted for yet another injection well in Athens County. This one will allow up to 4000 barrels a day, which is more than 61 MILLION GALLONS A YEAR of toxic, radioactive frack waste (most from out-of-state) piped into our land.

This new K & H well will be less than a 1/2 mile from another owned by the same company that receives up to 1500 barrels/day (a barrel is 42 gallons). Both will use an unloading facility and storage tanks that were NOT included in the prior permit application so have had NO public scrutiny. SIX drinking water wells also like within a 1/2 mile from where these 83 million gallons will be pumped into our county land EVERY YEAR.

PLEASE WRITE ODNR today — the comment period ends Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. You may use this letter as a model. Be sure to include the application number and please state that Ohio law requires that the Chief grant a public hearing if ANY comments are substantive and relevant to health, safety, or good conservation practices. (Ohio Administrative Code 1501:9-3-06 (H) (2) (c)). Please cc your letter to State Senator Lou Gentile, State House Rep. Debbie Phillips, USEPA Region 5 Chief, Rebecca L. Harvey, and USEPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman. (PLEASE BCC acfanohio AT gmail.com.)

USEPA is coming to Ohio to audit its injection well program at the end of September in response to a petition by Teresa Mills of Buckeye Forest Council on behalf of Ohio citizens. We need to show USEPA how ineffective Ohio’s UIC program is in protecting its water, land, and residents from the toxic, radioactive waste being dumped in ever increasing volumes in our communities!

If you drink water in Athens County, you have standing. PLEASE BE SURE TO ADDRESS SPECIFIC RISKS OF THIS PARTICULAR WELL to you and our region — required in order that your comments be considered substantive and relevant. Please include your county of residence in your letter.

See ACFAN’s injection well page for the permit application, sample letters for previous applications, and links to research on the dangers of injection wells.

Although we did not get a public hearing for the last (Atha) injection well application, we have a strategy going forward that depends on you writing ODNR one more time. Help us show our state that we won’t be silenced.  We generated 98 comments on the Atha permit application. Please help us double that this time! Thank you  Deadline: Monday, Sept. 9.

Sample letter (longer and more detailed one HERE):

Via Electronic Mail to oilandgas@dnr.state.oh.us  and by US Mail

cc: Senator Lou Gentile c/o Steven.Blalock@ohiosenate.gov; Rep. Debbie Phillips c/o Rep94@ohiohouse.gov; harvey.rebecca@epa.gov; hedman.susan@epa.gov; bcc: acfanohio AT gmail.com

August 28, 2013

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas

2045 Morse Road Bldg F-2

Columbus Ohio 43229

Re:  Permit Application APATT022697

Dear Director Zehringer and Chief Simmers,

I am writing with great concern for the permit application APATT022697 submitted by K&H Partners of West Virginia.

After reviewing the very brief application, I note that this application is asking for a permit to allow a maximum of 4000 barrels of toxic waste a day to be accepted at their existing facility and injected into a second well near this site. K&H has a permit for their first well for an amount of 1500 barrels a day. That means there is a potential of 5500 barrels a day of waste that will be unloaded at this facility.

The first K&H permit application had no mention of an unloading and containment facility in its original submission. The containment facility was not available for review nor was about 70 pages of the application, until after the permit was approved by ODNR.

This application says the “K&H #1 Unloading and Containment Facility will be used for the #2 well.” There is no schematic or description of this facility and further it was built for the #1 well. So, how does this existing facility get evaluated by the public? How does the public know the facilities’ capacity for containment and mitigation?

Why is the facility not in this application for review? There is a possibility of 60 million gallons of toxic waste per year coming to this facility! This could be a low estimate as I calculated on 5 days a week of delivery. A possible estimate could be as much as 84 million gallons of toxic waste. This may then be the largest injection well site in Ohio!

There are no core samples or reports of porosity and permeability of the formation at 4990 ft. Is there data available to determine the structural setting of the reservoir? I do not even see a geologist’s report with any reference to the formation into which the waste will be injected. The assumption made by ODNR apparently is that whatever formation is in this permit application is already deemed safe with no explanation of why there would NEVER be any penetration of the formation by the toxic waste. This is a written response from ODNR to a written question asked  at an open house last November in Athens about how a rock formation is determined to be impermeable: “Rocks are designated as impermeable due to the minute size of pore spaces or lack of permeability that is typical of fine grained rocks. Low permeability rock typically restricts vertical or horizontal migration of fluids and/or gas and are known as confining zones.”

Can you provide the latest EPA reports on ground water surveys that have been conducted with the increase in the number of new injection wells in Ohio? Since there are no laws requiring monitoring wells for Class II wells, how is it determined that there is no contamination? The amount of toxic waste being received by the new Ohio wells is alarming. The public’s concern that millions upon millions of gallons of toxic waste can be injected into the ground, into two wells within less than 1/2mile of each other, as the K and H wells are, and not result in contamination is a substantive concern (“having substance: involving matters of major or practical importance to all concerned” — Miriam Webster Dictionary).

Ohio law requires the chief to determine if public objections or questions that relate to health, safety or conservation concerns are substantive in order to determine if a public hearing is required.  It is clear that ODNR believes that substantive concerns are only in regard to what the industry wants. I am sure that federal regulations governing the oil and gas industry INTENDED to involve the public by allowing our substantive concerns to be heard and put into the public record.  That has been the public’s right in regard to environmental law.

I am asking for a public hearing to be held in Athens County to record the public’s concerns of health, safety and conservation issues in regard to this K&H permit application.

Roxanne Groff, Amesville, Ohio 45711

PLEASE WRITE ODNR todaycomment period ends Monday, Sept. 9. Be sure to include permit application number. Please address risks of this particular well to you and our region. Please state that Ohio law requires that the Chief grant a public hearing if any comments are substantive and relevant to health, safety, or good conservation practices. Please cc your letter to: Senator Lou Gentile c/o Steven.Blalock@ohiosenate.gov; Rep. Debbie Phillips: Rep94@ohiohouse.gov; and USEPA Region 5 UIC Chief Rebecca Harvey: harvey.rebecca@epa.gov, and USEPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman: hedman.susan@epa.gov. Please bcc acfanohio AT gmail.com. See ACFAN injection well page for permit application, more extensive model comments/letter, background materials, and more.