Meeting Notes, 4/18/2012
In attendance: Al Blazevicius (Chair), John Branner, Pat Davidson, Sheriff Pat Kelly, Richard Shaw, Pat Smith, Rob Wiley
Absent: Mark Sullivan
Notes by: Sonia Marcus
– Status report on Commissioners’ resolution on hydraulic fracturing
- Baseline water testing
- Commissioners’ letter of support
- Voinovich study
- Athens County Water Project
- Letter sent to decision makers re: improving regulations
- Governor’s energy bill includes some but not all recommendations
- Drilling in source water protection zones still at issue
- Road use maintenance agreement
- Agreement as proposed by A. Stanley was approved by the County Commissioners
- Template agreement may be announced by Governor’s office shortly
- Entrance into road use agreement is not required by new oil/gas regulations, just encouraged
– Discussion of Advisory Group Charge
- Injection wells should be considered in the scope
- Language of the charge should focus on deep shale drilling versus conventional vertical wells that are already operating in the county
- Charge may be affected by decisions on new regulations currently being discussed at the state level
- Best Management Practices (BMP’s) could be championed by this group via the Commissioners at the state level
- Voluntary compliance by oil/gas companies could be more effective than regulations
- More detailing of the elements of the oil/gas drilling process can be covered in later documents
- Suggestion on changing language of the charge to “deep shale development” and drop references to hydraulic fracturing and drilling
- Charge unanimously approved (see below)
– Priority tasks
- Minutes, amended charge to Commissioners
- Contact list should be circulated to all members
- Establishment of sub-committees to divide up work load (injection wells, deep shale regulations)
- Updates to this group on water testing projects, status of Voinovich lab, Ohio Rural Water Association
- Contact Engineer’s office re: road use agreement and how it can be used to help with road damages near active injection wells
- Richard Shaw to discuss Voinovich School water test with LeAx
- Contact other experts as needed (Health Dept, local injection well operators, etc.)
- Internet links and files to key resources will be shared within the group
- Find out exact requirements for public announcements, public input, voting process, posting of agendas and minutes, etc.
- Group is charged with delivering recommendations in 180 days
- Next meeting will be Wednesday, May 16, 9-11am, OSU Extension Office unless otherwise noted
- Injection well public presentation, 6:30-8:30pm next Wednesday at Siegfred Hall, Ohio University
- Public comment from Sonia Marcus:
- Question about procedural issues
- Charge should address all phases of deep shale development, including but not limited to: necessary water withdrawals, oil/gas drilling and production, pipeline development and operation, road use, industrial facilities required for oil/gas processing, disposal of waste, and other development impacts.
– Meeting adjourned at 11am
CHARGE TO THE STRATEGIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON
DEEP SHALE DRILLING & HYDRAULIC FRACTURING
On February 14th, 2012, the Athens County Commissioners signed a resolution establishing the Strategic Advisory Committee to address deep shale drilling and hydraulic fracturing activities. This Committee will provide recommendations to the Commissioners on the initiatives that can be put in place to improve the value and safety of hydraulic fracturing and to mitigate the environmental impacts of this process in Athens County. This will include issues of land, water and air quality, public safety and health, economic value, property values, public infrastructure, quality of life, and vital natural resources.
This Committee is charged to:
- Identify the nature and magnitude of the potential effects that hydraulic fracturing, including waste disposal, may have in the county. These would include on-site effects, external effects and cumulative effects.
- Differentiate between beneficial and adverse effects.
- Identify how potential adverse effects are regulated through existing state and federal venues, and identify measures the county can implement to avoid, ameliorate or mitigate the unregulated adverse effects.
- Identify how beneficial effects can be maintained or improved at the County level.
- Propose specific plans to address each issue for numbers 3 & 4.
The Committee will work in consultation with relevant state, county and city agencies and other expert resources, as appropriate.
The Committee will meet monthly. Public notice will be given for Committee meeting dates. The end of each meeting will include a period for public input, allowing 3 minutes per person to speak.
Within 180 days of its first meeting, the Committee will submit a report with recommendations to the Athens County Commissioners.
This charge has been approved by Committee members:
Al Blazevicius (Chair), Mark Sullivan (Vice-Chair and Athens County Commissioner), Pat Kelly (Athens County Sheriff), Richard Shaw (President of the Township Trustees Association), John Branner (Athens County Engineer’s Dept.), Pat Davidson, Pat Smith and Rob Wiley.