State halts injection well permits

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday it will not approve any additional brine-injection well permits until it completes an injection well report.

The report, which will include new depth regulations, is expected to be released in early February.

“Common sense dictates you should not approve applications when you have new standards on deck,” said Carlo Loparo, ODNR spokesman.

There are nine pending applications in the pipeline, Loparo said.

Though the injection well report is not yet complete, this is the fourth new regulation or restriction made by ODNR or Gov. John Kasich’s office in a week.

ODNR last week expanded its ban on brine-injection wells to within a seven-mile radius of a West Side well, near the epicenter of 11 earthquakes in 10 months.

On Monday, Kasich’s office confirmed injection wells, which accept brine, a salty, chemical byproduct of natural gas and oil fracking, will not be allowed to exceed 8,000 feet in depth.

On Tuesday, ODNR said injection wells can no longer be drilled into the Precambrian, or bedrock, formation, where injection wells could trigger seismic activity.

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