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Don’t blame quakes on fracking

Published: Fri, February 3, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Don’t blame quakes on fracking

Underground Injection wells have been used since the 1930s to dispose of many types of liquid wastes, primarily oil field brine (salt water produced with oil and gas) into different geologic formations. In 1974, Congress passed Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), giving the EPA the authority to control underground injection. The EPA administers the UIC program, and delegates regulatory authority to the state of Ohio. The state of Ohio via ODNR issues permits for these wells, but the standards in place for construction, maintenance, and continuous monitoring are set by the EPA.

There are approximately 144,000 injections wells operating in the United States, with an average of 2 billion gallons a day associated with oil and gas development. The state of Ohio is home to approximately 186 of these injection wells; however, the number will increase drastically with the development of the Utica Shale. House Bill 501, a bipartisan bill passed in 1985 was signed into law by a Democratic governor (Celeste) established the use of injection wells as a safe disposal means for produced water. The oil and gas industry is not the only industry using injection wells.

People need to understand that the incident in Youngstown is not related to hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing has been used in the oil and gas industry for over 60 years. The Utica Shale is too deep, too hard, and too expensive to access were it not for hydraulic fracturing.

Currently Ohio’s oil and gas industry supports a total of 14,400 Ohio jobs. The Utica Shale is projected to bring a minimum of 3,000 more jobs in the next 3 to 5 years. Landowners, schools, businesses and communities will benefit from this potential energy source and it will significantly boost local economies. America’s dependence on energy should not be dependent on foreign countries.

Ohioans should be very thankful that we have been blessed with this opportunity and not let one incident condemn the potential benefits we may enjoy.

Ben Funderburg, Salem


1HappyBob(360 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Sorry Ben, but the evidence gathered thus far is that the injection well on Ohio Works Drive is very likely associated with the seismic activity in that area.
Apparently the ODNR is sufficiently convinced that this is so, because they have ordered a halt to use the D&L wells within a seven mile radius.
While there are many wells being used for disposal of oil field brine in Ohio, there are just a very few that have been drilled to 9300 feet, so the experience at that geologic level is unknown. Additionally, most of the wells have been used for years were depleted oil and gas wells, that are now being refilled with oil field waste. On the other hand, these new wells like that on Ohio Works drive, have never been producing wells, so millions of gallons of waste are being forced underground with literally no place to go.
Yes, we are blessed and our thankfulness and gratitude for that should be to act responsibly with these gifts. Grab and run is just disrespectful.

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2valleyred(1103 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago


He said FRACKING is NOT CAUSING the quakes. He did not say that INJECTION WELLS were not causing the quakes.

I am amazed at how people read what they want to read to prove their point!

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3Anonymouse(36 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

The Vindy failed to disclose that Ben Funderburg is the vice president of land at Ohio Valley Energy, an oil and gas company based in Youngstown.

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4AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Fracking and injection wells all go together. Without fracking there would be no need for injection wells. Call it what you want. Bottom line is no earhtquakes until the drilling started. In youngstown and several other areas in Ohio. All so we can put waste from texas and other states in our ground in Ohio ground. Why?? Because those other states don't want it in their ground.

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