ODNR clarifies new information from fracking opponents

By Brandon Klein



A simple case of a misunderstanding might have transpired between the anti-fracking activists and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Ray Beiersdorfer, a geology professor at Youngstown State University and a member of Frackfree Mahoning Valley, showed documents from the ODNR about an injection well that was shut down at a press conference Thursday.

The injection well at D&L Energy Inc. on Salt Springs Road, Northstar 1, was shut down with a 7-mile moratorium imposed on other injection wells from the site, after being linked to 109 minor earthquakes from January 2011 to February 2012.

The documents were released as part of an Ohio open-records request by Teresa Mills, Ohio Children’s Health Organizer from the Center for Health, Environment and Justice.

According to the documents, the ODNR authorized the disposal of brine — wastewater from the hydraulic-fracturing process — in January for two energy companies: West Penn Energy Services LLC, and WTC Gas Field Services Inc.

Beiersdorfer said the ODNR acted without transparency. “These things should be happening in the daylight,” he said.

Mark Bruce, ODNR spokesman, said, however, there was nothing “sinister” going on.

The brine-disposal permit for Northstar 1 was never revoked and was therefore on the list for the companies to use, Bruce said.

The companies are aware they cannot operate at that site and that the well is still shut down with the moratorium still in place, he added. “It’s simply a matter of a paperwork issue,” Bruce said.

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