ACFAN appeals K&H#3 Injection Well Permit

ACFAN appeals K&H#3 Injection Well Permit

Athens, OH, April 14, 2015 –– Athens County Fracking Action Network has appealed the recent permitting of another injection well in Torch, Ohio, owned by Jeff Harper of West Virginia. The latest Athens County frack waste injection well, the K&H #3, was permitted last month by Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

According to the notice of appeal, “This appeal is brought pursuant to O.R.C. §1509.36 and Ohio Adm. Code §§1509-1-09 and 1509-1-11. The Chief’s issuance of the injection well permit for Well Number 34-009-2-3824-00-00 was unreasonable and unlawful for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, the following…: 1) The Chief unlawfully and unreasonably approved the permit in light of information known to him from the two other K&H injection disposal wells located on the same tract of land as Well Number 34-009-2-3824-00-00 that the geologic strata where the wastes would be injected for disposal did not adequately confine the wastes, thereby failing to demonstrate that the well would not result in an adverse effect on human health and/or contamination to ground water protected by R.C. Chapter 1509 and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. 2) The Chief unlawfully and unreasonably approved the permit by requiring that the injection well’s protective casing extend only to an inadequate depth of approximately half of the 4,200 foot deep borehole, thereby insufficiently confining the waste, which fails to demonstrate that the well would not result in an adverse effect on human health and/or contamination to ground water protected by R.C. Chapter 1509 and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. 3) The Chief unlawfully and unreasonably approved the permit based upon the requirements of guidance documents and ‘standard operating procedures’ which constitute ‘rules’ under ORC Chapter 119 but which are unlawful due to the Chief’s failure to adopt them in compliance with the legally required safeguards for rulemaking under Ohio law. 4) The Chief unlawfully and unreasonably approved the permit in a manner that does not protect underground sources of drinking water in violation of federal and state requirements governing the injection of oil and gas waste liquids.” The notice concludes with a statement of the requested remedy that the Oil and Gas Commission “find that the action of the Chief in issuing the well permit to Well Number 34-009-2-3824-00-00 was unlawful and unreasonable and that the permit should therefore be vacated and this matter remanded to the Chief for further action as required by law and for such other relief as appropriate and just.”

In spite of hundreds of articulate and informed voices speaking out, including those of our County Commissioners and other elected representatives, Gov. Kasich allowed his appointees at ODNR to approve the third K&H Partners’ toxic radioactive frackwaste injection well in Athens County. This approval process subverted the law and ignored democratic principles. Our safety and security are at risk from this rogue state agency and the governor, who is in charge of it, and from the real and present threat this and other wells for injection of massive amounts of toxic and radioactive fracking waste pose to our drinking and agricultural water supply.

Our appeal of K&H#2 is pending in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, where ACFAN is currently fighting for Ohio citizens’ right to appeal injection well permits.

The Ohio Supreme Court has affirmed that Ohio citizens have the right to appeal an injection well permit. We are now awaiting affirmation by Franklin County Court of Common Pleas of this right, countering ONDR’s claim, made in response to ACFAN’s lawsuit, that the Ohio court’s reference was to a “2nd permit.” ODNR instigated this so-called “2nd permit” after the Ohio Supreme Court ruling and after ACFAN filed against K&H2. This “2nd permit,” which ODNR claims is appealable, is meaningless: It is issued after construction of the well and is based only on a pressure test.  In addition, there is no provision in the statute or regulations that require public notice or an opportunity for public hearing before issuance of this so-called “2nd permit.” Nor has public notice been provided on any “2nd permit” by ODNR.  See acfan.org injection well page for legal documents in the K&H#2 appeal.