Ohio has begun issuing its first permits for deep injection of chemically laced wastewater from oil and gas drilling since a New Year’s Eve quake in Youngstown prompted an unofficial statewide moratorium on new wells.
The head of the state’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources says the first four new permits will go out Tuesday to sites in Athens, Portage and Washington counties.
Rick Simmers said an additional 28 sites will be permitted in small batches in coming months.
He says state natural-resources officials believe new regulations include ample safeguards to protect against future quakes.
Gov. John Kasich imposed a moratorium surrounding a well at Youngstown-based D&L Energy Inc. on Ohio Works Drive that ODNR linked to earthquakes. Simmers said that facility remains idle.