Environmental groups petition federal government to revoke Ohio authority over injection wells
Posted by Andy Chow | State Capitol News Bureau
Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State Capitol News Station) – A group of environmental advocates and local government officials say Ohio’s regulations on injection wells are inadequate to protect safe drinking water and the US EPA claims that it is necessary to revoke the authority of
The petition alleges that Ohio’s Class II injection well program violates requirements established under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Class II injection wells are used to dispose and store brine and other fluids associated with oil and gas production.
According to US Environmental Protection Agency filings, Ohio has failed to implement an effective enforcement program that meets federal standards.
Petitioners include the Buckeye Environmental Network, the Ohio chapter of the Sierra Club, and a list of other frontline organizations with local connections to communities that may be affected by the injection well.
They said Ohio’s permit process lacked regulatory requirements to prevent endangering drinking water and that the program would unduly “burden” low-income Appalachian communities.
The group said nearly all of Ohio’s Class II wells are in Ohio’s Appalachian region.
James Yskamp, a senior attorney at Earthjustice, said Ohio’s injection permit process is not sufficient to demand environmental protection, including providing a full description of the waste being injected.
“Until EPA requires Ohio to correct the deficiencies identified in the petition, Ohio will jeopardize groundwater sources for drinking water, disproportionately affect low-income Appalachian Ohioans, and create Class II We will continue to manage our Class II program in a way that deprives those most affected by the disposal well of opportunity to participate in key decision-making,” Yskamp said.
Petitioners said a stricter regulatory framework could help protect drinking water and reduce the likelihood of seismic activity.
Stephanie O’Grady, media and outreach expert for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, points out that in 1983 the U.S. EPA delegated priority in regulating Class II disposal wells to ODNR’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. Did.
“Federal agencies have consistently reassured Ohio that it meets federal standards and operates effective regulatory programs that protect public health, safety and the environment. We take seriously our responsibility to protect , surface waters and the environment, which is demonstrated by our rigorous permitting process, regular inspections and enforcement,” said O’Grady.
The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program, a nonprofit organization for general education about the Ohio oil and gas industry, states that the state is a “responsible environmental steward” in several ways, including regulation of Class II wells. said to have proved that .
“Over the years, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has superseded federal requirements and increased oversight. It just gives you a lot of power,” said George Brown, Executive Director of OOGEEP.
Brown added that the country is in an energy crisis and needs to focus on increasing “clean and affordable energy, not more bureaucracy.”