By jeanne starmack
A Hubbard Township trustee is questioning whether a brine-injection well should be drilled in an area above old coal mines.
American Energy Inc. of Cortland has applied for a state permit to drill the well in Brookfield at the former Air Force radar site off state Route 7.
The site is 1.5 miles north of the Brookfield-Hubbard Township line.
An Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokesman said the department is reviewing the application.
Brine is a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing.
Trustee Fred Hanley said Hubbard Township has no legal standing before the ODNR. Brookfield trustees could not be reached to comment.
The proposed well site is directly above the same coal fields and mine-shaft complex that extends under the Kermont Heights area and east into Masury, Hanley said.
He said that homes in Hubbard Township and a day care center in Brookfield were damaged during blasting operations at a sandstone quarry not far from the old radar base.
Blasting operations stopped at the City Stone Products quarry 21/2 years ago, Hanley said.
The ODNR concluded in 2002 that the blasting did not damage homes, but Hubbard Township residents who complained believed it did, according to Vindicator files.
Hanley said there was damage at homes on Pine Grove Drive and in the Kermont Heights area. He said a house on Thomas Road had a cracked foundation.
“The township’s concern is that the well is drilled and prepared correctly, taking into account the vast underground coal mine complex and the legacy we are left with,” he said.
Hanley said there is a fault line in the area, and also several abandoned oil and gas wells “in various states of disrepair.” He believes that could cause groundwater contamination.